CNA response to Power Technology magazine story
The following letter from the Canadian Nuclear Association is in response to a recent story in Power Technology magazine.
Your story “What are the most dangerous jobs in the energy sector?” (Sept. 6, 2018) greatly overstates the risks associated with working in the nuclear industry.
When you consider death rates from air pollution and accidents related to energy production, nuclear has by far the lowest number of deaths per terawatt hours.
In Canada, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) limits the amount of radiation nuclear workers can receive when they work in a job where they may be exposed to radiation. The effective dose limits are 50 millisievert (mSv) per year and 100 mSv over 5 years. According to the CNSC, studies to date have not been able to show any excess cancers or other diseases in people chronically exposed to radiation at doses lower than about 100 mSv.
The average dose for workers at uranium mines and mills in 2007 was about 1 mSv, significantly below the regulatory nuclear energy worker limit of 50 mSv per year, and well below typical Canadians’ natural exposure of 2.1 mSv.
Concentrations of radon in uranium mines, mills, processing facilities and fuel fabrication facilities are strictly monitored and controlled. Controls include sophisticated detection and ventilation systems that effectively protect Canadian uranium workers.
For 50 years we have transported nuclear materials safely both internationally and in Canada. There has never been serious injuries, health impacts, fatalities or environmental consequences attributable to the radiological nature of used nuclear fuel shipments.
The nuclear industry is also one of the most strictly regulated and closely monitored industries in the world.
President and CEO
Canadian Nuclear Association