Nuclear Projects

 

Best Theratronics Environmental Assessment

Best Theratronics Ltd. required an environmental assessment to support their Class 1B nuclear license application. In partnership with Golder Associates Ltd., Calian Nuclear developed an environmental impact statement (EIS). Calian Nuclear managed all aspects of this EIS and drafted all of the radiological content for the description of the project, the description of the existing environment, the assessment of environmental effects, the effects of external (i.e., environmental) events on the project, the assessment of cumulative effects, and the final conclusion on the significance of environmental effects. As part of the EIS, Calian Nuclear performed a comprehensive assessment of the effects of radiation on humans and the environment, both during normal operations and possible malfunction and accident situations.

 

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Bruce Power Radiological Environmental Risk Assessment

Calian Nuclear was contracted to conduct the radiological component of a preliminary quantitative risk assessment for the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station. This assessment identified potential human health and environmental risks as a result of historical and ongoing operations at the facility, and whether these risks needed to be addressed. The radiation dose to humans was calculated following the CSA N288.1 Standard using the IMPACTTM modelling software. Airborne and waterborne release pathways were considered for a number of radionuclides. Calian Nuclear defined criteria to categorize the level of risk to humans; these categories correlated to a recommended environmental monitoring plan. Calian Nuclear also performed a radiological exposure assessment for non-human biota to determine the radiation dose at the exposure location.

 

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Re-Zoning of Radiological Zones at a Nuclear Power Plant

Following the permanent shutdown of a nuclear power plant, Calian Nuclear was contracted to develop the process to re-zone portions of the plant site to reduce the radiation protection requirements, operational costs, and the number of control zones. Calian Nuclear created plans to identify the re-zoning locations and characterized each location based on its radiological risk. Detailed re-zoning plans were then prepared and an in-field radiation survey protocol was developed that was compliant with regulatory requirements and international best practices, such as the Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM).

 

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Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) Fuel Transfer Logistics

NWMO contracted Calian Nuclear to support them in determining the optimal methodology for transferring spent CANDU fuel bundles from reactor sites to the proposed deep geological repository (DGR) for long-term storage. Calian Nuclear analyzed potential methods to transfer the used fuel bundles by road. Through consultation with fuel owners, Calian Nuclear produced a list of transfer options and then assessed the technical and financial feasibility of each option. Calian Nuclear also performed a radiological shielding study for used fuel containers, assessed shipping containers by rail, and studied the effect of blending fuel to reduce the thermal load of the DGR.

 

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Exercise Unified Response

Exercise Unified Response (ExUR) was a three-day exercise held in May of 2014 designed to challenge all organizations with a responsibility to respond to a nuclear emergency at Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Darlington Nuclear Generating Station (DNGS). ExUR spanned a wide spectrum of the response functions, from the initial indications of a problem at the plant and notification of response organizations, through the activation of emergency operations centres and the actions required to protect the public, including public messaging, to the first steps of the recovery phase, when the emergency has been stopped and life must return to normal. ExUR involved over 54 organizations and thousands of players responding to the major nuclear emergency at DNGS as if it were a real event.

 

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Nuclear Emergency Response Exercises and Evaluations

Since 1998, as part of the Visit Safety Program to host nuclear powered and capable vessels at three designated locations, Calian Nuclear has planned, developed, and conducted all Nuclear Emergency Response Exercises (NER EXs) and subsequent Evaluations (NER EVALs) for the Royal Canadian Navy. Calian Nuclear’s responsibilities include scenario development, preparation of training material, Master Event List (MEL) and inject development, manual production, controller/evaluator/player briefings, and exercise execution. This includes electronic data collection during and following the exercise for use in the post-event review, in addition to using quantitative analysis techniques to determine the success of the response. Calian Nuclear continually works with NER EVAL stakeholders to ensure that the exercise development meets requirements.

 

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CBRNE Training for Health Professionals

Calian Nuclear designed and delivered a four-day CBRNE Awareness and Basic level training course for senior representatives of the Abu Dhabi Health Corporation (SEHA), and the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD). The course was designed specifically for this client with an emphasis on the medical aspects of CBRNE response from a medical authority conceptual design perspective in close consultation with the client. The course also included tours of the Ottawa General Hospital decontamination facility and a full decontamination line and equipment demonstration by the Ottawa Fire Department HAZMAT/CBRNE Response Team. The course culminated with the administration of a detailed exam designed to test student knowledge retention.

 

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Vancouver Olympic CBRNE Preparation Program

Calian Nuclear developed and delivered CBRNE training for the first responders and supported provincial and national agencies in the development of response plans. Exercise Gold was the third and final Olympic security exercise, taking place in November of 2009. It served to confirm that federal, provincial, regional and municipal organizations were prepared to respond to any emergency that could have occurred during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Calian Nuclear developed and delivered tabletop exercises and constructed and delivered two live-play events to confirm interoperability capabilities during a "boots on the ground" CBRNE response. Calian Nuclear also executed the Command Post Exercise portion of GOLD that exercised international coordination and resource provision agreements. Additionally, Calian Nuclear conducted CBRNE requirements definitions, capability and gap analysis and developed the CBRNE plan for the Province of British Columbia.

 

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Training Program in the Middle East

In February 2013, Calian Nuclear and partners were awarded a contract to provide the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Middle East with a Regional Nuclear Emergency Response Preparedness and Response Plan. Calian Nuclear provided detailed theoretical and practical instruction in nuclear emergency response, two regional level table-top exercises and finally, two regional level field exercises – all designed to reinforce the implementation of the plan, teach basic through to advanced radiological response skills (practical and decision making) and confirm this training through the use of field exercises.

 

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Response Training for Ontario Ministry of Health Staff

In the event of a radiation emergency in Ontario, the staff of the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Management Branch (EMB) and key provincial partners will play an extremely important role in decision making in the Emergency Operations Centre regarding the coordination of Ontario’s public health and health care response. This will include providing risk assessments and guidance to public health authorities, health care providers and government. Calian Nuclear ran training for the Ministry staff to enhance the capacity of the EMB and a small number of the key staff of identified provincial partners to respond to radiation emergencies through technical training. This was done via an intensive training course presented by Calian Nuclear specialists to key MOHLTC staff.

 

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Gentilly-1 Safety Assessment Report

Gentilly-1 was a prototype CANDU-BWR reactor that ceased operation in 1979 and was partially decommissioned. Calian Nuclear was tasked with performing a review of the current Gentilly-1 site, including structures, systems, components, and operations. Calian Nuclear identified the current on-site (or plausible external) hazards and the corresponding risks. Based on this review and assessment, Calian Nuclear created a Safety Assessment Report to support the licence renewal of the facility. A comprehensive review of the design and operation of the facility was performed to demonstrate that the long-term site operations will not pose an unacceptable risk to human health. Qualitative and quantitative risk analyses were performed to examine realistic events and possible mitigation techniques.

 

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Indian Point Probabilistic Risk Assessment

The New York State Attorney General’s Office contracted Calian Nuclear to perform an independent review of the Level 3 Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) conducted by the Indian Point Energy Centre. This Level 3 PRA uses the MACCS2 accident consequence analysis code to estimate the economic costs of a severe nuclear accident. Calian Nuclear performed a sensitivity analysis on the input parameters used with the MACCS2 code in order to determine which had the greatest effect on the output values. The most sensitive input parameters were then further examined to attempt to discern their origin, accuracy, and justification for use. Methods used in Europe to perform decontamination calculations were also studied to establish a range of input parameters. Calian Nuclear concluded (and corroborated in court) that some of the inputs used in the Indian Point Level 3 PRA were inconsistent with the values obtained by other methods. As a result, the original cost of decontamination may be severely underestimated.

 

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Early Triage for Radiological and Nuclear Events

Calian Nuclear led the R&D project, Early Triage for Radiological and Nuclear Events (ETRNE), that was based on the concept that in any radiological/nuclear (RN) event involving the release of radioactive material, it is vitally important to determine whether or not casualties have been internally contaminated. This project, funded by the Centre for Security Science (CSS), developed a protocol, through modeling, scientific testing and experimentation, that allows responders and receivers to use their existing hand-held radiation detectors to rapidly screen casualties of an RN event for internal contamination. Detector specific protocols were developed based on screening criteria calculated from Monte Carlo N Particle (MCNP) transport code simulations and laboratory experiment that considered the biokinetics of internal contamination.

 

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Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Dosimeter

Calian Nuclear was contracted by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to conduct a technically complex R&D project in an endeavour to develop an effective DNA dosimeter for use by the agency for space missions. These dosimeters (small, portable and non-electronic) can measure the dose during space missions to provide critical data for mission operations and radiation protection. The Calian Nuclear dosimeter is a gel-based, DNA-based dosimeter that provides efficient and accurate measurement of space crew exposure in the complex, mixed radiation environment outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Experiments are currently being performed to optimize the dosimeter design, lower the dose detection limits, and further characterize its response to different particle types.

 

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Full-Scale Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD) Experiments and Models

Calian Nuclear was responsible for the development of radiation safety plans, experimental test plans, and, most notably, the S3-Communicator to assist in full-scale radiological dispersion device (RDD) experiments. The S3-Communicator was paired to a radiation detector and used to capture and transmit radiation measurements in real-time; it was designed, fabricated, and commissioned entirely by Calian Nuclear. Each S3-Communicator unit transmits data to a base station by radio frequency, with GPRS also as an option. This data is securely stored in a SQL database and can be rendered on a customizable, user-defined display of the command and control system. Additionally, the S3-Communicator is fitted with an integral SD memory card for redundant data storage. Calian Nuclear, in partnership with several federal agencies, conducted a series of experiments that culminated in the actual explosive dispersion of a short-lived radioactive material on the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Suffield Experimental Proving Grounds.

 

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Nuclear Power Plant Radiation Protection Procedures

Calian Nuclear has been tasked in revising and reorganizing a CANDU reactor site’s Radiation Protection (RP) Program. This RP Program requires updating as the facility transitions from an operation nuclear power plant to a used nuclear fuel storage site; this update is a direct result of a decrease in the number of onsite staff. Calian Nuclear is responsible for revising all of the RP procedures and any other documentation needed to fulfill regulatory requirements. Calian Nuclear is also in the process of updating all accompanying training material to ensure that on-site personnel are familiar with the new RP program, as well as any new (or changed) radiological risks that might be encountered during operation of the used nuclear fuel storage site.

 

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Director General Nuclear Safety National Radon Survey

The risk of developing lung cancer has been linked to the levels of radon found in houses. These studies prompted the federal government to collaborate with provincial and territorial governments to review the federal radon guidelines and perform radon surveys. Calian Nuclear was tasked with performing a multi-phase, multi-year national radon survey in Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) owned buildings. Calian Nuclear developed the protocol for measuring radon gas, including detector deployment, placement, retrieval, and post-retrieval data analysis, as well as procedures for the scheduling of surveys. Calian Nuclear executed the survey in thousands of DND/CAF buildings. In order to ensure that the data is accurately captured and defendable, Calian Nuclear also developed proprietary software to accurately track all aspects of the detector deployment and retrieval process.

 

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