Public Disclosure Archive


Port Granby, March 9, 2017

Excavation of historic low-level radioactive waste at the Port Granby Waste Management Facility has resumed, following a temporary suspension of waste movement activities.

On December 1, 2016, CNL proactively suspended its Port Granby Project contractor’s waste excavation and placement work when two equipment operators experienced minor physical symptoms during waste placement activities. CNL directed the contractor to conduct a thorough review of the event and the existing plans and practices related to waste movement, and to institute measures to prevent a recurrence.

Subsequently, the contractor put in place enhancements to site health and safety plans and procedures, including additional training and equipment for worker safety. As a result, CNL determined that excavation of historic low-level radioactive waste at the Port Granby Waste Management Facility could safely resume.

Port Granby, January 23, 2017

CNL reports that an early warning system alarm was triggered on Friday, January 13, 2017 in one of the process rooms inside the Port Granby Project Waste Water Treatment Plant. The alarm indicated that elevated levels of hydrogen sulphide gas were present. Hydrogen sulphide is a typical by-product of wastewater collection and treatment processes.

Upon hearing the alarm, all personnel followed procedure and exited the building immediately. As a precaution, two workers sought medical evaluation. Both were cleared to return to work.

There were no off-site effects, and at no point was there a threat to the safety of the public. CNL has proactively notified the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission of this event.


Port Granby, December 5, 2016

During waste placement at the new Port Granby Long-Term Waste Management Facility on Thursday, December 1, 2016, a strong ammonia-like odour was detected at the worksite. Two workers experienced symptoms such as irritation to eyes and throat, and nausea. These workers were evaluated by emergency room physicians on Dec. 1, and both were released and cleared to return to work.

The historic low-level radioactive waste at the existing Port Granby Waste Management Facility consists of by-products of the uranium refining operations of the former Eldorado Nuclear Ltd., including a variety of chemical waste, industrial refuse and contaminated soil. The waste is buried in trenches throughout the site. Early indications are that a leaking drum was the source of the ammonia-like odour. There is no indication that the leaked substance had any offsite effects, and there was no threat to the public.

Waste excavation and placement activities have been suspended at the
Port Granby site while CNL and its contractor conduct a thorough review of this event and the plans and procedures in place to prevent a recurrence. Other work not related to waste excavation continues.

Updates to this notice will be provided as more information becomes available.

Port Granby, April 21, 2016

On March 31, 2016, during construction activities at the Port Granby Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Facility, a break in a shallow underground pipe occurred. This resulted in a small quantity of untreated ground/surface water entering the treated effluent discharge system and being released to Lake Ontario. Within 30 hours of detection of this unplanned event, the visible source of the untreated water was identified, and repairs were made to the underground pipe on April 1. Water samples were collected for independent analysis.

On April 15, 2016 these sampling results confirmed that the water was impacted by contaminated soils at the site. The impact to the environment is considered negligible, and there was no threat to workers and the public. Ongoing sampling has confirmed that the quality of treated effluent released from the site continues to meet the requirements of the Port Granby Project Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission licence held by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL).

Further monitoring and corrective actions are being taken to prevent a recurrence. These include isolating similar pipes at the site and ensuring workers exercise increased vigilance when working around existing infrastructure. Additionally, the new Port Granby Project Waste Water Treatment Plant, which was put into service last month, is proving highly effective in removing contaminants from waste water, greatly exceeding the performance of the former plant and resulting in a significant environmental improvement.

July 28, 2017