Canada's plan

Carleton Researchers Complete Transportation Study for the NWMO

Researchers from Carleton University collect data along Canadian roads. Previous estimates were based on generic, internationally available exposure time, distance and frequency assumptions. The Carleton researchers considered a wide variety of possible exposure scenarios, from people living along transportation routes, pedestrians, hitchhikers, the crew in the truck transporting used nuclear fuel, and drivers and passengers in the truck’s vicinity.

Researchers from Carleton University collect data along Canadian roads.

May 3, 2016

Toronto, Ont.

By the NWMO

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Researchers from Carleton University collect data along Canadian roads. Previous estimates were based on generic, internationally available exposure time, distance and frequency assumptions. The Carleton researchers considered a wide variety of possible exposure scenarios, from people living along transportation routes, pedestrians, hitchhikers, the crew in the truck transporting used nuclear fuel, and drivers and passengers in the truck’s vicinity.

Researchers from Carleton University collect data along Canadian roads.

Working with researchers at Carleton University, the NWMO recently completed a detailed assessment of potential radiological exposure resulting from the transportation of used fuel in a reinforced and shielded Used Fuel Transportation Package. The assessment covered both members of the public along potential transportation routes and transportation workers, and was based on data collected along Canadian roads.

In each case, the assessment found annual doses to be significantly below the regulatory public dose limit of 1 milliSievert per year.

“One way to look at the results is to compare them to how long you would have to fly in a jet airplane to get the same level of exposure to radiation,” explains Ulf Stahmer, Senior Transportation Engineer at the NWMO. “Let us say you are a hitchhiker along a highway and are exposed to six passing shipments. That is equivalent to one second of flying time. Or let us say that you are controlling traffic for a road construction crew and are exposed to 260 passing shipments. That is equivalent to eight minutes of flying time.”

Previous estimates were based on generic, internationally available exposure time, distance and frequency assumptions. The Carleton researchers considered a wide variety of possible exposure scenarios, from people living along transportation routes, pedestrians, hitchhikers, the crew in the truck transporting used nuclear fuel, and drivers and passengers in the truck’s vicinity.

About the NWMO

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.

Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.
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the NWMO

The NWMO is a not-for profit organization established in 2002 by Canada's nuclear electricity producers in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA).

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