On my frequent drives through Port Hope, this beautiful town that I have the opportunity to know, I am happy to see that many sites have PHAI work underway. Areas like the Pine Street North Extension Consolidation Site in the Highland Drive area, the Strachan Street Ravine across from the Lion’s Club as well as residential properties are some of the properties we are cleaning up, in addition to the Port Hope Harbour and Viaducts. Looking at it from the fence lines we may seem similar to other construction projects. Yes, we’ve got big equipment referred to as yellow iron, we’ve got dirt, we’ve got hard hats and safety boots, lumber, nails and stones. But what you might not see are all the other intricate layers that come along with an environmental clean-up of low-level radioactive waste.
The specialized work we are performing is complex work and this work takes time. The goal of completing this cleanup safely and compliantly while minimizing impacts to the community makes the PHAI projects different.
Here are a few ways in which we are different:
Environmental monitoring is conducted by CNL to protect human health and the environment and to ensure effects from PHAI activities are minimized. For instance, CNL monitors air quality to ensure measures to reduce dust are effective. Noise monitoring is also conducted at work sites and along transportation routes to obtain data before and during our work. Plant and wildlife monitoring is aimed at minimizing impacts on migratory birds and species at risk during our activities. Monitoring and regular sampling of both Lake Ontario and other ground and surface water is also conducted.
Radiation protection of our staff and contractors is a requirement to avoid or reduce exposure to radiation. We use measures such as limiting the duration of exposure, distancing from the source and barriers to limit exposure.
Regular inspections at PHAI sites is performed by CNL staff in addition to the routine or spot inspections by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and others to ensure we are meeting regulatory requirements.
Safety is our number one priority and a core value that we live by, as you’ve heard me mention before. CNL has a “Target Zero” philosophy regarding health and safety events, lost-time incidents for workers and impacts on public safety and the environment. We work closely with emergency services and regularly perform drills and test emergency response plans.
Remediation and restoration of any of our sites is a process, sometimes made longer by unknown factors like weather or a global pandemic. I want to assure you we continue to strive to do our best and improve every day as we create a cleaner environment for tomorrow.
I recently celebrated my one year anniversary as General Manager on this project and continue to be impressed by how we are working together to make a difference in the lives of this community.
Remember, stay focused and stay safe!