Decommissioning of the Gentilly‑2 facilities

Rapports réglementaires

Public disclosure protocol

Environmental monitoring

Report 2022

Report 2022 [PDF 7.34 MB - in French only]

The year 2022 was marked by the completion of major work that will soon lead to the monitored storage phase of the Gentilly‑2 facilities. In accordance with the regulatory framework, the results and findings of the environmental monitoring show that the impacts of activities relating to the decommissioning of the Gentilly‑2 facilities are low, and for the most part, imperceptible beyond the site’s exclusion zone.

Previous years reports

Reportable events

This section lists Reportable Events that must be reported under the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s REGDOC-3.1.1, Reporting Requirements for Nuclear Power Plants. The table of Reportable Events will be updated quarterly.

General information

Project summary

Progress reports

Map of the facilities

Facility photos

If you represent a media organization and would like to obtain photos not found in the media library, please contact us at 1 844 289-5005, selecting options 1 and then 5. Photographs in the media library may be used free of charge for news or reference purposes, or as resources for teachers. They must not be modified. Such usage must comply with all applicable laws. For any other use or distribution, you must obtain prior written consent from Hydro-Québec.

Consult Hydro-Québec’s media library

FAQ

Does Hydro‑Québec intend to relaunch the nuclear industry in Québec?

No megawatts provided for in the Action Plan 2035 – Towards a Decarbonized and Prosperous Québec released on November 2, 2023, will come from nuclear generation. This means that the decommissioning of Gentilly‑2 will continue as planned.

How is Gentilly‑2 being decommissioned?

Decommissioning is a four-step process: Preparation for dormancy, which covers unloading the reactor and deactivating the systems; dormancy, in which spent fuel is stored for more than 40 years; dismantling the facilities; and, finally, site rehabilitation.

What happened to the people who used to work there?

Hydro‑Québec fulfilled all its obligations under collective agreements. As of October 31, 2016, all redundant employees (595) had been reassigned within the company, 60% of them within the same region. Some nonetheless decided to leave the company.

How will the Gentilly‑2 site be kept secure?

Hydro‑Québec has general contingency plans for all of its facilities that take into account various scenarios, including natural disasters such as earthquakes. For security reasons, the details of these plans must remain confidential and the plans for the Gentilly‑2 facilities are no exception. Even after these facilities have been decommissioned, Hydro‑Québec will continue to secure the site in accordance with applicable regulations.

How long will waste remain on the site?

The spent fuel bundles safely stored in the CANSTOR storage modules will be transferred to a deep geological repository around 2048. The NWMO is expected to reveal its chosen site shortly.

The Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste has tasked the NWMO with implementing an intermediate-level radioactive waste management solution. A deep geological repository is the NWMO’s proposed solution following public consultations across Canada.

The Strategy also wants low‑level radioactive waste generators and owners to remain responsible for implementing long-term disposal in keeping with international best practices, taking into account characteristics, volume, proximity to the existing interim waste facilities, community acceptance and technical considerations. Building near‑surface disposal facilities for low‑level waste is one of the Strategy’s recommendations.

For the time being, all radioactive waste at Gentilly‑2 will continue to be stored onsite in robust, secure concrete facilities.

Can decommissioning activities have an impact on the environment or on public health?

All decommissioning activities carried out at the Gentilly‑2 site are subject to strict environmental and safety standards and are closely monitored. Just as it did during operation, Hydro‑Québec complies with all regulatory requirements. Current environmental monitoring at the Gentilly‑2 facilities has demonstrated that decommissioning activities have had no notable impact on the environment nor any impact on the health of employees or the public. These conclusions were confirmed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which asserted that “the Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP) results for 2015, 2016 and 2018 indicate that the public and environment near the G-2 Facilities are protected and that there are no expected health or environmental impacts.”

How can we be sure that work will be done following best practices and in full compliance with regulations?

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regulates the entire life cycle of nuclear power plants. It is in charge of ensuring that decommissioning activities are carried out in accordance with its regulatory requirements in order to protect workers, the public and the environment. Hydro‑Québec will comply with applicable regulations, as it did throughout Gentilly-2’s years of operation.

How long will it take for the site to be restored to its initial state?

The site will be fully restored at the end of the dismantlement, around 2063-2064.

Are Indigenous communities involved in the decommissioning process?

For matters related to the Gentilly‑2 facilities, as with all projects concerning the Odanak and Wôlinak Abenaki communities, we are in contact with W8banaki, the tribal council that works with these communities. In 2021, we agreed to conduct archaeological surveys on the Gentilly 2 site and identify black ash, a valuable tree species used in their traditional activities.

What is Hydro‑Québec doing to ensure that it has a highly specialized workforce in light of the labor shortage and loss of expertise due to the aging population?

For the most part, the personnel working at the Gentilly‑2 facilities were there when the nuclear power plant was in operation. They have invaluable expertise and a process has been put in place to ensure that their knowledge is passed on to new specialized staff. We also practise exemplary document management to ensure the future generations handling the rest of the nuclear facilities’ life cycle can access quality information during the full decommissioning of the facilities and site remediation.

To reach us

Info-Project line

1 866 388‑1978

Contact

Véronique Trépanier
Advisor – Community Relations