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Construction begins on the first storage cell at the long-term waste management facility

Local News: Construction begins on the first storage cell at the long-term waste management facility

Contributed by admin on May 12, 2016 - 09:49 PM

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Port Hope, ON (May 12, 2016) – Construction of the first storage cell of the Port Hope Project engineered aboveground mound will begin this spring at the site of the long-term, low-level radioactive waste management facility.

On May 10, the contract to build Cell 1 was awarded to ECC/Quantum Murray, LP of Toronto. The company has extensive experience in environmental remediation work in North America, including landfill construction.

“This work is another significant milestone for the project and the community,” said Craig Hebert, Port Hope Area Initiative General Manager. “Once construction of Cell 1 is complete, the site will be ready to receive waste and the cleanup of historic low-level radioactive waste in Port Hope will begin.”

Cell 1 is the first of four cells in the highly engineered mound that has been designed to safely isolate low-level radioactive waste by encasing the waste with multi-layer base liner and surface cap systems. The mound’s performance will be closely monitored during construction and for hundreds of years into the future to ensure its safety. Construction will be completed in late 2017, with placement of waste from within the community expected to begin in 2018.

Although the site is an existing low-level radioactive waste storage facility, construction of the cell will take place in a non-radiological zone. Earlier this year, contractors working on behalf of the PHAI relocated low-level radioactive waste from the area where Cell 1 will be built, stockpiling it on site. The radiological-free area will also provide space for support buildings and clean access for workers and construction vehicles.

ECC/Quantum Murray will adhere to stringent health and safety plans, as required by the PHAI Management Office under its Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission licence for the Port Hope Project. Contractor requirements for the protection of the public, workers and the environment include dust management, occupational health and safety, radiation protection and traffic safety plans.


The Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI) is a federal environmental clean-up program. Its mandate is the remediation and local, long-term, safe management of historic low-level radioactive waste in Port Hope and the Port Granby area of Southeast Clarington. The PHAI Management Office, led by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, is implementing these projects on behalf of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, a federal Crown corporation.


The Port Hope Project involves the construction of an engineered aboveground mound and supporting infrastructure for the safe, long-term management of approximately 1.2 million cubic metres of historic low-level radioactive waste, cleanup of the waste from various sites in Port Hope and its transportation to the waste management facility, located south of Highway 401 and west of Baulch Road. Ongoing maintenance and monitoring will continue for hundreds of years after the facility is capped and closed. The historic waste resulted from radium and uranium refining operations of the former Crown corporation, Eldorado Nuclear, and its private sector predecessors, which operated from the 1930s to 1988.

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