Decommissioning of the Gentilly‑2 facilities

Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), entities licenced by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Committee (CNSC), such as Hydro-Québec for the decommissioning of a nuclear power reactor a the Gentilly‑2 facilities, are required to create, implement and update an environmental monitoring program aimed at protecting the public, workers and the environment. At Gentilly‑2, this program addresses both source monitoring of effluents and their dispersal in the environment, by measuring radioactivity in a variety of environmental matrices.

Activities at Gentilly‑2 are still subject to stringent environmental monitoring, a process that began when the generating station was first commissioned and will extend throughout the various phases of decommissioning.

There are two components to the environmental monitoring — one plan for radiological monitoring and the other for monitoring physicochemical substances in the environment. These two plans specify the type and frequency of the sampling to be carried out.

All results are submitted to the relevant provincial and federal authorities and are also made public. In recent years, both environmental monitoring plans were reviewed in light of the work done to prepare for the monitored storage phase of the Gentilly‑2 facilities as well as to prepare a new environmental risk evaluation.

  • Environmental monitoring
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Environmental monitoring

As part of Hydro-Québec’s environmental monitoring process, CNSC staff also conduct extensive compliance verification. This includes reviewing licensees’ environmental protection programs to ensure their appropriateness as well as regular inspections to verify whether these programs are being implemented accordingly.

Furthermore, the CNSC has launched an Independent Environmental Monitoring Program (IEMP) to oversee the safety of people and the environment around licensed nuclear facilities. The IEMP is separate from but complementary to the CNSC’s ongoing compliance verification program. In 2015, 2016 and 2018, IEMP analysts sampled in the areas immediately surrounding Gentilly‑2. Results to date have confirmed that the public and the environment in the vicinity of the Gentilly‑2 facility are safe and that there are no expected health impacts. These results align with Hydro-Québec’s findings, proving the effectiveness of the licensee environmental monitoring programs in safeguarding human and environmental health. All IEMP results, including those from Gentilly‑2, are available on the CNSC website:

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Marie-Elaine Laroche
Advisor – Community Relations