Approximately half of all historic low-level radioactive waste at a legacy waste management site on the Lake Ontario shoreline in Port Granby has been cleaned up. The waste has been relocated to a new long-term waste management facility approximately 700 metres north of the legacy site. The cleanup of the site began in November 2016 as part of the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI).
“Our Port Granby Project contractor is currently tracking ahead of the planned schedule, despite the challenges presented by record-breaking rains last spring and summer, which is good news for the project and for the community,” said Craig Hebert, General Manager of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ (CNL) Historic Waste Program Management Office. CNL is undertaking the PHAI on behalf of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, a federal Crown corporation.
As was anticipated during the planning phase of the project, a mix of contaminated soil and industrial refuse has been unearthed. “Most of what’s been recovered so far was planned for before our contractor started to dig,” said Hebert. “In addition to impacted soil, a variety of materials have been found – old process equipment, discarded drums, gas cylinders – which is what we expected but not always where we expected it based on historical records for the site.”
Through the project, approximately 450,000 cubic metres of historic low-level radioactive waste will be transported from the legacy waste site to the new facility. To date, approximately 200,000 cubic metres of waste has been placed in the lined cells of the newly constructed engineered aboveground mound.
All excavated waste is being transported along internal roadways and through an underpass at Lakeshore Road to the new facility for long-term safe storage. The underpass was built specifically to fulfill an Environmental Assessment commitment that no waste would travel on public roadways.
The Port Granby Project is expected to be completed before the scheduled date of 2020, after which long-term monitoring and maintenance of the storage mound will begin.