Public Disclosures

The following information is provided in accordance with the ongoing commitment by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) to voluntarily disclose events to the public related to the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI).


Port Hope, September 26, 2017

CNL has received confirmation from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) that it has met the terms and conditions of the Commission’s July 7, 2017 Order.

The Order was issued to CNL after legacy treatment ponds overflowed at the Port Hope Project Long-Term Waste Management Facility, as publicly disclosed on June 25 (see below). Immediately following the event, CNL initiated a thorough review of all water management plans and procedures for the site. 

CNL has taken all actions necessary to enhance its water management plans for the Port Hope Project to prevent a recurrence. These actions are in alignment with the July 7 CNSC Order.


Port Hope, July 28, 2017

Further to CNL’s June 25 disclosure of an overflow of untreated surface water from legacy collection ponds at the Port Hope Project Long-Term Waste Management Facility, analysis of water samples collected on discovery of and following the event are provided below. The water samples were collected in accordance with industry best practices and sent to an accredited third-party laboratory for analysis.

Click on image to enlarge

PHP Water Overflow Results_FINAL_2017 July 28

The results were compared to the provincial and federal criteria for the protection of aquatic life and confirm that the effect on Brand Creek downstream of the facility was negligible. Brand Creek flows south from Clark's Ditch for approximately three kilometres and ends at Lake Ontario.

Elevated levels of arsenic and uranium observed in Clark’s Ditch, which flows into Brand Creek, are similar to levels in the baseline studies conducted as part of the 2005 Port Hope Project Environmental Assessment. The water quality of Clark’s Ditch will be improved as the Port Hope Project progresses. 

CNL takes its obligation to protect the environment very seriously and continues to monitor closely water quality and levels at the Port Hope Project Long-Term Waste Management Facility.


Port Hope, June 28, 2017

Further to CNL’s June 25 disclosure, mitigation measures put in place at the
Port Hope Facility remain effective. The results of independent analysis of water samples collected offsite were measured against the provincial and federal criteria for the protection of aquatic life and confirm that the effect on the environment was negligible.


Port Granby, June 25, 2017

As a result of extreme weather and record rainfall in the Durham Region and Northumberland County, on June 23, 2017, surface water overflowed from a catch basin in the East Gorge on the site of the existing Port Granby Waste Management Facility, located on the south side of Lakeshore Road. A small volume of untreated ground/surface water, estimated to be between two and five cubic metres, flowed from the catch basin to Lake Ontario during this short-lived event.

At no time was there a health or safety risk to workers or the public, and the results of independent analysis of water samples taken at the catch basin are expected to show that the effect on the environment was negligible, as the overflow had been diluted significantly by the heavy rainfall.

CNL proactively notified the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and will continue to provide updates to this disclosure notice as more information becomes available.


Port Hope, June 25, 2017

As a result of extreme weather and record rainfall in the Northumberland County and Durham Region, storm water collection ponds at the Port Hope Long-Term Waste Management Facility reached and exceeded storage capacity.  At approximately 9:30 a.m. on June 23, 2017, water overflowed from the storm water management ponds, then flowed over ground to Clark’s Ditch and Brand Creek, which lead to Lake Ontario. 

On discovery of the event, CNL immediately implemented measures to contain the collection pond water, including placing sand bags to divert the overflow water into a storm water catch basin on the site and installing additional pumps to decrease the amount of water stored in the ponds. By 12 noon the overflow had decreased substantially, and by 2:00 p.m. it had ceased entirely.

An independent analysis of water samples collected from the storm water management pond overflow indicated that contaminant levels were close to discharge objectives accepted by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The heavy rain would have diluted the storm water such that contaminant levels in Brand Creek and Lake Ontario are considered to have been negligible.

On June 24, CNL took additional precautionary measures to ensure that no surface water from other sources was entering the storm water catch basin by constructing an earthern berm. 

CNL will provide updates on the June 23 event as more information becomes available. 


Port Granby, May 31, 2017

On May 30, 2017, a fire alarm sounded inside the Port Granby Project Waste Water Treatment Plant building located on Elliott Road in the Municipality of Clarington. In accordance with CNL’s emergency protocol, all workers immediately evacuated the building. Clarington Emergency and Fire Services were automatically dispatched as a result of the alarm and arrived at the site promptly. Fire services personnel inspected the building and determined that the event was a false alarm.

CNL has engaged a contractor to inspect the fire alarm system and perform any maintenance/repairs that may be required.

At no time was there any risk to the safety of workers, the public or the environment as a result of the false alarm. CNL has proactively notified the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission of this event.


Port Granby, April 21, 2017

On April 17, 2017, during a routine inspection, CNL was made aware of a leak in an underground pipe at the Port Granby Project Long-Term Waste Management Facility site. Upon discovery of the leak, the pipe was isolated to stop the flow of water, which was being pumped from the existing waste management facility for treatment at the Port Granby Project Waste Water Treatment Plant. The leak resulted in untreated water being released on the site. Upon investigation, the source of the leak was identified and repaired, and the pipe was put back in service on April 19, 2017.


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September 26, 2017