Since the start of construction at the Port Granby Long Term Waste Management Facility in 2011, over 1.2 million tonnes of historic low-level radioactive waste has been excavated and stored in an engineered aboveground mound 700 metres north of the Lake Ontario shores.
The Waste Water Treatment Plant plays an important role in the construction of the mound by treating surface water and groundwater present on site. The Port Granby mound is scheduled to be capped and closed in 2021 and as the project nears completion a significant milestone was recently achieved by our operations team; early this summer operations staff completed the processing of a 35,000,000 litre backlog of contaminated waste water that had been stored in the 8 onsite lake tanks – that’s the equivalent of 14 Olympic swimming pools.
Due to above-average rainfall, the lake tanks were installed to store water on site to enable the water to be processed at a reasonable rate. Now that the backlog of water has been processed, the operations team is focusing on plans for long-term monitoring systems. These systems will more accurately track the inflow of water and better handle rain events in the future.
The treatment process ensures that all contaminated materials are sent through the dewatering filtration system which separates liquids and solids. The solids are then placed in totes and stored in the mound while the liquids are sent to the collection ponds. Through a series of process and equipment improvements as well as a significant effort on the part of the operations team, the plant has processed a substantial amount of water and solid waste. Most notably, more than 3,600 solid-waste totes were produced by the Port Granby team, each tote weighing approximately 1,100 pounds. All of this work has culminated in the release of 332,000,000 litres of clean water into Lake Ontario.
“It is thanks to our operations crew and their hard work that we have been able to achieve all that we have so far at the Port Granby Legacy site. I want to give my personal thanks to the crew for reaching a significant milestone” says Allan McMurray, Manager of Waste Water Operations.
The Waste Water Treatment Plant will remain operational long after the mound has been capped and closed in order to process any resulting water runoff from the mound. The entire Port Granby crew works to ensure all water being released meets the stringent Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission requirements and protects the Great Lakes Basin eco-system.
To learn more about the Port Granby Treatment Plant, click here.