Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

Complex Problems

Health Physics Services


Nuclear Services

Comprehensive Solutions

Perma-Fix Canada, Inc.

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

We have been supporting cleanup efforts for CNL (previously AECL) since 2002. We provide waste management, nuclear services, instrumentation, training, program development, and decommissioning.

Project Highlights

  • On-site Remediation

    Characterization, removal, segregation, packaging, and transportation to Chalk River.

  • Turn-key Waste Management

    Contracts for on-site waste sampling, packaging, and transportation and off-site thermal destruction.

  • Whiteshell Risk Management

    Applied risk analysis process to identify, assess, and manage risks for the B-300 demolition project.

  • Douglas Point Waste

    Solid waste characterization and removal. Design and construction of a mobile liquid waste extraction and processing facility.

  • Chalk River Program Development

    Remedial Action Plan (RAP) development; design and construction of a mobile liquid waste extraction and processing facility.

  • echnology and Training

    MARSSIM survey design, instrumentation services, and data collection training.

Capabilities Delivered

Licenses, Know-how, People, Vision

We have the experience and treatment facilities to reduce risk and manage waste at a lower cost. Our Technical and Nuclear services staff have a broad range of experience in the US and Canada.

Project Details


Roof Remediation

We were awarded this contract to remove the roofing materials from a historic building located in downtown Toronto. The building had been used for the historic manufacture of radium-luminous dials. The exhaust ventilation discharged onto the roof of the building, contaminating the roofing materials with radium-226. The entire roof was not radiologically contaminated, so the roofing material was segregated to minimize the amount of waste to be sent to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' Chalk River site for safe, licensed long-term storage. This segregation activity allowed the other materials to be disposed of in a commercial waste management facility.
The objective of this project was the characterization, removal, segregation, packaging, and transportation of the roofing material to an appropriate waste management facility. The radioactive waste was sent to Chalk River and the non-radioactive waste was sent to Clean Harbors, Inc. The success of the waste management operations was measured by the ability to achieve the following end state requirements:

  • All roofing material was characterized, packaged and transported for disposition
  • A Final Status Survey was completed to verify that all contamination had been removed
  • Facility restoration was completed.

We mobilized a Project Manager, a Radiation Safety Officer, and a Shipper to characterize and remove the roofing materials (9,520 Kg of non-radiologically contaminated and 12,126 kg of radiologically contaminated) from the building roof. We deployed the equipment necessary to perform the characterization, transfer the bagged waste from the roof to the ground and loaded the waste onto the transport vehicle. Characterization was performed using destructive testing, contamination surveys and dose rate measurements. Packaging was performed using one cubic yard soft-sided IP-1 containers.

CNL Mixed Waste Treatment and Disposal

Services provided under multiple contracts to CNL (previously AECL) included on-site waste sampling, packaging, and transportation and off-site treatment at a Perma-Fix facility via thermal destruction of mixed waste liquids, including disposal or return of secondary ash upon client request. Perma-Fix holds U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Import/Export licenses for international shipments.

We have an extensive history with the treatment of international waste streams. The treatment for low-level radioactive liquids and sludges consists of thermal destruction which results in significant volume reduction. Combustion processing results in minimal disposal volume for the customer and a certificate of management is issued to the customer upon completion of processing services. The benefits of utilizing our combustion processing facilities include the capability to treat both hazardous and non-hazardous waste, sampling and analyzing 100% of the waste upon receipt to verify constituents, and provide successful destruction of the waste, ~95% volume reduction, and on-site technical support including waste brokerage services for profiling assistance and transportation services through approved transportation providers.

Whiteshell Intermediate-Level Liquid Waste

CNL (previously AECL) is decommissioning Whiteshell Laboratories, a nuclear research facility located in Pinawa, Manitoba. As part of the decommissioning of the site, the existing quantity of Intermediate and Low Level Waste (ILLW) had to be removed. Perma-Fix provided the knowledge, experience, and facilities to transfer and treat the waste by volume reduction through thermal treatment; the residual ash was returned to Whiteshell for long-term interim storage.

We developed a project plan that provided the project description, responsibilities, equipment, and methodology to safely sample and remove the liquid contents from tanks and drums. We provided technical oversight of the sampling and packaging of the liquid wastes and also provided a certified shipper/broker to develop the manifests, perform labeling and marking, and ensure the waste was compliantly loaded onto the conveyance. The waste was delivered to the Perma-Fix Northwest (PFNW) facility for thermal treatment.

Chalk River Decommissioning Training

We provided AECL a 36-hour course covering the key initial steps of decommissioning of radioactive material impacted sites, including historical site assessment, scoping surveys, and characterization surveys. Performance of appropriate assessments and surveys prior to actually beginning the process of decontamination and decommissioning of the site aids in the development of effective plans and improves the overall efficiency of the decommissioning process. The primary objective of the Perma-Fix training was to give the attendees a solid working knowledge of the initial steps of decommissioning, specifically the review of historical data and initial scoping and characterization surveys design and implementation, such that the data produced can add value to the planning and implementation of additional decommissioning activities.

The training was provided in accordance with the following documents: NUREG-1575, MARSSIM; NUREG-1757, Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance; and, NUREG-1575 Supplement 1, MARSAME and included the design of surveys in accordance with the Multi-Agency Radiological Site Survey Investigation Manual (MARSSIM) and use of the SOR 2000-207 clearance criteria.

Appropriate instrumentation and computer demonstration was also provided. A variety of radiation detectors including alpha, beta, and gamma scintillators, and gas proportional detection systems were displayed and discussed. Specialized survey systems and techniques such as GPS-assisted gamma mapping system for outdoor surfaces and our Indoor Radio-frequency and Infrared Survey System (IRISS) were presented, and a demonstration of how the data collected are processed to produce color-coded figures of the open land or structural surfaces surveyed was given.

Chalk River Liquid Waste Tanks Remediation

AECL implemented the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program (NLLP) to strategically address legacy waste, decommission facilities, and restore lands affected by AECL's early operations. As part of the initiative, two Active Liquid Waste Tanks (ALWTs), located at CRL in Ontario Canada, had been identified as requiring remediation.

We were awarded a contract for the development of a Remedial Action Plan (RAP); design and construction of a mobile liquid waste extraction and processing facility; and packaging, transportation, and disposal of approximately 3,500-gallons of liquid mixed low-level waste (MLLW). It was determined that the waste would require thermal treatment at a RCRA permitted facility and the resulting ash would be returned to AECL, in accordance with the approved import license agreements. Completion of this project allowed AECL to place the waste management area in a stable configuration and reduce the risk of leakage from the aging tanks.

Douglas Point Solid Waste Remediation

We managed the solid waste located at the Douglas Point Facility. The Douglas Point nuclear power plant was commissioned in the early 1960's and is located at the Bruce Power site. The plant operated until 1984 when it was deemed to not be economically viable to continue operations. The plant is currently shut down, defueled, and in the process of being decommissioned. An assessment determined that the waste stored in the facility presented a fire hazard and must be removed to ensure the safety of the facility. To support this effort, all debris waste stored at the plant would be characterized, packaged, and transported off-site for processing and disposal. The waste consisted of drums containing contaminated fuel trays, bags of dry active waste (DAW), drums containing contaminated soil, expended high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, lead bricks, and miscellaneous debris. Completion of the waste clean-out effort would place the facility in a safe condition and allow the next phase of decommissioning to proceed.

We removed and characterized 264 drums (114,000 pounds) of fuel tray segments from the Reactor Building and removed, characterized, and packaged waste streams located throughout the Service Building, including 24,000 pounds of DAW, 50,000 pounds of equipment and debris requiring decontamination and survey for free release/recycle, 17,000 pounds of waste for bulk survey for release (BSFR), and 31,000 pounds of lead for decontamination and survey for free release/recycle. We installed a process enclosure within the facility to allow for the intrusive characterization, sorting, segregating, and packaging of the various waste streams. Characterization was performed using contamination surveys, dose rate measurements, and in situ object counting systems (ISOCS) measurements. Packaging was performed using sea/land containers, B-25 boxes, and soft-sided IP-1 containers.

CNL Liquid Waste Treatment

We have been supporting cleanup efforts for AECL since 2002. Our Diversified Scientific Services, Inc. (DSSI) facility has treated low-level liquids and mixed low-level liquids (oils, chemicals, water, lab packs, vials) and sludges typically contaminated with H3 at high levels. Other isotopes of concern included uranium, plutonium, strontium, cobalt, and cesium. The primary treatment technology has been thermal destruction for the liquids and sludges.

Since 2009, CNL has brokered and shipped a total of approximately 2,000 cubic feet of waste to our facility for thermal destruction and has returned ~400 cubic feet (3,779 pounds). The return volumes have consisted of ash from the thermal treatment process and glass, plastic, and empty drums.

Our on-site activities have included brokerage services, packaging oversight, and on-site sampling campaigns. Based on our successful sampling campaigns on-site, CNL contracted with us to provide sampling training. Additionally, Perma-Fix provided on-site services for the Active Tanks 1 and 2 Remediation project at the Chalk River Site which included the design and construction of a mobile liquid waste extraction and processing facility on-site. The liquid wastes were successfully extracted, processed, packaged, and transported for final treatment.


Waste Treatment

Our fixed base facilities offer highly specialized treatment options that help reduce risk and avoid costly internal program development.

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Nuclear Services

Our highly experienced team of professionals can handle domestic and international challenges across all project disciplines.

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Health Physics

We have cutting-edge technologies, a large team of industry experts, extensive capabilities, and an unwavering commitment to safety.

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International Division

We are a highly experienced in safe, compliant and environmentally responsible nuclear services and waste management across the globe.

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