With the tarped waste now removed from the Centre Pier and other PHAI activities underway in the community, there was lots for Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) to talk about during the September 18 Committee of the Whole meeting in Port Hope.
During his update at Town Hall, CNL General Manager of Historic Waste Programs, Scott Parnell told members of Port Hope Council and the community about the project milestones that have been achieved this construction season, including the relocation of 40,000 tonnes of historic low-level radioactive waste that has been under tarp on the Centre Pier for almost two decades.
“We started moving waste in the community this year and that’s a big milestone for us,” said Parnell. “It’s good to see trucks moving in the community and dirt being placed in the Long-Term Waste Management Facility.”
Parnell shared an update on project activities currently underway at Port Hope’s waterfront to prepare for the future dredging of contaminated sediment from the harbour. He shared photos of the wave attenuators and turbidity curtains being installed in the harbour to prevent the spread of contamination while the dredging work is underway, and mentioned that fish are being relocated from inside the harbour into Lake Ontario.
To address public concern about PHAI fishing activities, Parnell explained the fish are being safely relocated and tracked in accordance with government permits. He added that some fish will die as part of their natural life cycle, but they are not being harmed as part of this work.
In addition to work in the waterfront area, Parnell noted that other temporary storage sites in town will soon be remediated, including the Pine Street North Extension, and that the first private property cleanups are underway.
Looking ahead to next year, Parnell noted that there are some lessons to be learned from this construction season. “We have accomplished a lot this year, but we stumbled a bit along the way. We are taking a hard look at what went well and not so well this year and I expect we will find ways to do things even better next year.”
As PHAI activities increase in the community and with the municipal election this fall, public communications remains a top priority for CNL. During the meeting, Parnell took a moment to describe some recent stakeholder engagement activities, including a PHAI information session held in August for all Port Hope election candidates. The info session provided an opportunity for candidates to receive an update on the project and have their questions answered by CNL staff
In closing, Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson thanked CNL for the update and mentioned he has heard positive comments from residents about the PHAI work they are seeing in town.