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Radioactive water from inactive nuclear reactor is dumped into Ottawa River

Reactor’s neighbours alarmed over radioactive toxins in river, Report details dumping water contaminated with tritium  PCBs, other toxins from Rolphton, Ont., site   By Julie Ireton, CBC News Mar 21, 2018   Indigenous communities, environmental groups and other concerned citizens who monitor toxic waste are increasingly concerned about the dumping of radioactive matter and other contaminants into the Ottawa River from an inactive nuclear reactor northwest of the capital.

A scientific report released in February details the dumping of thousands of litres of water contaminated with radioactive tritium, PCBs and other toxins into the river from the inactive nuclear power demonstration (NPD) reactor in Rolphton. Ont., about 200 kilometres from Ottawa.

The contaminants are at levels above Ontario and Canadian surface water quality standards, according to the report.

It was written by geoscientist Wilf Ruland, who was retained by the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council to review the proposed decommissioning of the demonstration reactor.

Radioactive tritium dumped

“The site is so close to the Ottawa River, only being 100 metres [away], and for us the environment and the water are two of our priorities,” said Norm Odjick, the tribal council’s director general.

In the report, Ruland notes releases of contaminated water into the river “appear to have been ongoing for decades and [continue] to the present day.”

“The regulatory guidelines for surface water quality were vastly exceeded in the contaminated water being dumped untreated into the Ottawa River from the NPD facility in 2015.”

Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown said radioactive tritium has been dumped into and diluted by the river, but cannot be filtered out or treated like other toxins.

……. Ole Hendrickson, a scientist and researcher for the group Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, questions the safety of the discharge limits for the facility.

Regulations vs. impact

“Aquatic organisms are being exposed to very high concentrations of toxic substances, and there’s nothing to stop boaters from drawing and filtering river water near the discharge point for drinking,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson also pointed out Ontario’s limit for tritium in drinking water greatly exceeds limits in other jurisdictions, and is thousands of times higher than natural levels……… http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/nuclear-contamination-plan-containment-rolphton-cnl-algonquins-1.4584336

 

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March 22, 2018 - Posted by | Canada, water

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