Cleanup of Low-Level Radioactive Waste in Southeastern Ontario
radioactive waste (LLRW) was produced by the former federal Crown
corporation Eldorado Nuclear Limited at its Port Hope refinery beginning in
the 1930s, and stored in the municipalities of Port Hope and Hope Township
(now amalgamated as Port Hope and Hope), and Clarington.
The volume of LLRW and marginally contaminated soils in the area is just
over one million cubic metres. The majority of this waste is currently
located at two waste management sites: the Welcome site (former Hope
Township) and the Port Granby site (Clarington), with the remaining waste at
various locations in the former town of Port Hope. Although the waste is
being managed safely in its current locations, the present situation is not
considered appropriate for the long term by the Canadian Nuclear Safety
Commission (CNSC), the Government of Canada or the communities themselves.
The legal agreement between the Government of Canada and the municipalities
commits the Government to financing a 10-year, multi-phase project to
implement a locally developed solution, or an alternative, for the safe
cleanup, storage and long-term management of the waste.
In each of the municipalities, the Project involves the cleanup of existing
low-level radioactive wastes at unlicensed sites throughout the
municipalities and, in the Town of Port Hope and Hope (formerly the Town of
Port Hope and Hope Township), certain non-radioactive industrial wastes.
Subject to the results of regulatory processes, these wastes will be
consolidated and managed for the long-term in the following:
- two new long-term low-level radioactive waste management facilities in the
Town of Port Hope and Hope, one at the Pine Street North Extension and the
other at the current Welcome Waste Management Facility; and
- a re-engineered long-term low-level radioactive waste management facility
at the Port Granby Waste Management Facility in Clarington.
The new facilities will be engineered to last for at least 500 years.
The waste management facilities are estimated to cost $230 million. This
estimate includes costs associated with further engineering and scientific
studies, regulatory review including environmental assessment and CNSC
licensing, site cleanups, remediation, waste transportation, facility
construction, waste emplacement, facility closure and ongoing monitoring.
Signature of the legal agreement initiates a five-year environmental
assessment and regulatory review phase in which the Project will be better
defined through public consultation, technical and scientific study,
environmental assessment, and regulatory review, including review under the
Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Nuclear Safety and Control
Act. The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Office will carry out the
project on behalf of the Government of Canada.
Under the terms of the legal agreement, grants of $10 million are to be paid
to each of the three municipalities that signed the agreement to assist them
in addressing impacts associated with the presence of long-term waste
management facilities within their communities. In addition, a program of
property value protection will be established to protect property owners
from financial losses relating to the project on the sale of their property.
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For more information, members of the media may contact:
Director, Uranium and Radioactive Division
Natural Resources Canada
Director, Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Office