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SRB Technologies & the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

SRB Technologies is a company located in Pembroke, Ontario that makes glow-in-the-dark exit signs & other luminescent products used mostly by the military. The company, which has been operating in Pembroke since 1991, uses tritium, a radionuclide by-product of CANDU nuclear reactors that is carcinogenic, teratogenic & mutagenic. SRB is “regulated” by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission – which issues licenses to all of Canada’s nuclear facilities (e.g., Pickering, Darlington & Bruce nuclear generating stations). According to the Web site, “The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) protects the health, safety and security of Canadians as well as the environment, and respects Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.” However, many Canadians have good reason to be highly skeptical about the way the CNSC carries out their mandate.

In the case of SRB, it is only the efforts of a very determined, persistent & self-educated group of citizens – the Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County – that have actually forced the CNSC to actually really regulate the operations of the company. Tritium emissions to local air & groundwater have at times in the past been so off the charts that the company has on several occasions been shut down by the CNSC. In early 2007, it was ordered to be shut down for 18 months.

At the end of June 2010, after a public hearing process during which many individual intervenors & representatives of a number of national health-oriented NGOs (including the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Council of Canadians, International Institute of Concern for Public Health, Prevent Cancer Now, Sierra Club of Canada, Toronto’s Cancer Prevention Coalition & Science for Peace) gave numerous and substantive reasons for opposing SRB’s continued operation, the CNSC granted the company a new, five-year license. The Prevent Cancer Now submission is online here

More information about SRB & tritium can be found on the Tritium Awareness Project (TAP) Web site at: www.tapcanada.org