Canadian regulators have approved a plan by Bruce Power to transport 16 LLW steam generators from Bruce A1 and A2 through the US Great Lakes and across the Atlantic Ocean to Studsvik in Sweden.

Bruce A steam generator

Bruce A steam generator being moved around site. Image courtesy Bruce Power

The April 2010 proposal by the utility met with heated opposition from environmental groups.

The CNSC said that the SG transport would pose ‘negligible’ health and safety risks to the public or the environment.

The regulators concluded that the review sufficiently treats the potential adverse environmental impacts of the transport and conforms to IAEA and Canadian radwaste transport guidelines. They concluded that Bruce Power is qualified to carry out the activity and will make adequate provisions to protect the environment, the population, national security and international obligations.

CNSC said that the decision came after an assessment of detailed plans from the utility and the testimony of 77 ‘intervenors’: individuals or groups.

Bruce Power must obtain permissions from appropriate municipal, provincial, federal and international authorities before the shipment can be completed.

According to the CNSC report, the total shipment radioactivity is 5.46 TBq of activity, of which between 4-13% is loose inside the steam generator tubes. The steam generators were welded shut in 2007.

Antinuclear coalition Beyond Nuclear argues that the shipment contains more than six times the maximum amount of radiation allowed by the IAEA guidelines. For this reason, it said that CNSC had to make a special exception.

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