Transport Canada

Next on the list was Transport Canada. I heard back from them a few minutes ago.

To issue a "Certificate" (which used to be a "Permit") to issue Dangerous Goods, Transport Canada uses the following procedure:

  • Classify the goods. If it's radioactive, this classification is deferred to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
  • Based on the classification the appropriate container is defined. Appropriate containers are defined by the CNSC for radio active material.
  • A shipping document is then issued (jointly with CNSC for radio active material).
  • An appropriate label is placed on the container. (e.g. for trucks transporting gasoline to petrol stations there's a red label with a 3 and a white flame).
  • The goods are shipped.

It can take up to a year for this process to happen and sometimes, even after a year of researching appropriate containers, the certificates still aren't issued.

Transport Canada regulations are essentially a combination of general regulations plus deferrals to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission where relevant. For example, I asked about using the steam generators themselves as a container. Transport Canada regulations state:

5.17 Means of Containment for Class 7, Radioactive Materials
A person must not handle, offer for transport or transport dangerous goods included in Class 7, Radioactive Materials, in a means of containment unless the means of containment is in compliance with the “Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations”.

Note that the link for PTNSR makes lots of references to IAEA Regulations. Danny from Transport Canada told me there was a rabbit hole of regulations to follow to find out if the containers were appropriate. You probably know by now how much I love a good rabbit hole...so...

I called the United Nations. Well technically I phoned the International Atomic Energy Agency office at the United Nations. Because my question was technical in nature the IAEA office in New York referred to the main headquarters in Vienna. The woman on the phone gave me an email address. So that's next.

And in other news Bruce Power is now looking to store the steam generators temporarily on a ship in the Owen Sound harbour rather than on land in mid-September. But the CNSC public hearing is being held in late September. Something's amiss here.

The Sun Times article also states that 10% of the metal by volume and 25% by weight will be returned to the Bruce site for storage. 90% smaller is significant. Again, I'm wondering...how much money is Bruce Power saving in storage fees by removing the re-usable steel? Is anyone a share holder that could go digging through an annual report?

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