News Release Article from  Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

Archived - CNSC approves the clean-up of Shield Source Inc. facility and issues a licence to abandon the site

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March 28, 2014 – Ottawa, ON – Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced today its decision to issue a Licence to Abandon to Shield Source Incorporated (SSI) for its gaseous tritium light source processing facility in Peterborough, Ontario. As of April 1, 2014, SSI is no longer subject to the CNSC’s regulatory requirements.

Clean-up and decontamination activities at the facility are complete and there are no nuclear substances or radiation devices left in the facility. CNSC staff have analyzed samples collected in the facility and have verified that all regulatory requirements and clean-up criteria have been met. CNSC staff concluded that SSI has made adequate provision to protect the health and safety of the public and the environment. The site can now be used for other industrial purposes.

In making its decision, the Commission received and considered submissions from SSI, as well as recommendations from CNSC staff. The Record of Proceedings is available from the Commission Secretariat upon request. It will be available in both official languages on the CNSC website at a later date.  

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.

Quick facts

  • SSI operated a nuclear substance processing facility in Peterborough from 1986 to 2013.
  • SSI used tritium gas in sealed containers to produce luminescent exit and aircraft signs.
  • Clean-up and decontamination work was carried out by qualified staff under the regulatory oversight of CNSC inspectors.
  • Nuclear waste products were properly packaged and transported to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s waste management facility, in Chalk River, Ontario.
  • CNSC’s independent sampling of air, soil and water concluded that the building is clear and there is no health risk to the community or the environment.  
  • Levels of tritium in the environment were safe during SSI's operation and levels are now lower since operations stopped.
  • The CNSC, in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, will continue to monitor water, vegetation and air quality to enhance the CNSC's understanding of how tritium decreases in the environment over time.
  • The CNSC consulted with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the Municipality of Peterborough regarding the clean-up process.
  • The cost to clean-up the site was paid by SSI using its CNSC-mandated financial guarantee fund.

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Media contacts

Aurèle Gervais
Media and Community Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
280 Slater St., P.O. Box 1046
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5S9
Tel: 613-996-6860 or 1-800-668-5284


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