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1. Introduction

  • Issued: July 2013
  • Content last reviewed: July 2013

1.1  RPMS Structure/History

The Radiation Protection Service (RPS) is a part of Specialized Professional Services that operates within the Occupational Health and Safety Branch (OHSB) of the Ministry of Labour.

The RPS is comprised of two services; the Radiation Protection Field Service (RPFS) whose main role is to enforce radiation safety in Ontario workplaces and the Radiation Protection Monitoring Service (RPMS).

The RPMS operates the only Province of Ontario laboratory capable of measuring radioactivity in environmental samples. The history of the RPMS goes back to the 1960's when the laboratory was originally affiliated with the Ministry of Health. In 1978 it was transferred to the Ministry of Labour and up until 1999 was known as the "Radiation Protection Laboratory".

The laboratory operates a Quality System to assure the production of high-quality data through measurements that are accurate, reliable and reproducible. The RPMS is accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) as meeting the requirements of ISO 17025 for the Quality System. Receiving this accreditation provides formal recognition of the Quality System by an independent science based organization. Further details of the RPMS Quality System is provided in Appendix 1. The RPMS is licensed by the Ministry of Environment under the Safe Drinking Water Act 2002 (SDWA) and the Drinking Water Testing Services Regulation (O.Reg 248/03) to perform radioanalytical testing on drinking water samples.

1.2  RPMS Programs

The main role of the RPMS is the operation of the Ontario Reactor Surveillance Program (ORSP) to continually monitor radioactivity in the environment around nuclear installations. In the event of a radiological emergency the role of the RPMS is to provide radioanalysis in support of the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP).

A network of monitoring sites is located around Ontario's three nuclear power generating installations at Bruce, Darlington and Pickering, and around the Chalk River reactor site located north of Ottawa. A site is also in the Amherstburg area to monitor the Fermi-2 nuclear power reactor south of Detroit, Michigan.

The RPMS also provides radioactivity measurements of raw and treated water in support of the Ministry of Environment's Drinking Water Surveillance Program (DWSP). Measurements are made in support of other MOE programs in such matrices as surface water, air filters and swipe-tests.

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ISSN 1929-2899