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June 27, 2024

PHAI Public Attitude Survey Reveals Cleanup not Top Concern for Residents

Residents shared their top concerns about living in Port Hope in the latest Public Attitude Survey undertaken by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), and the cleanup of low-level radiological waste was not identified in the top three issues.

Overall satisfaction with living in the community remains high, with 98 per cent of respondents indicating satisfaction with living in Port Hope. Though almost 80 per cent of respondents indicated knowledge about the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI), it was the high cost of living, housing, municipal services and infrastructure that were listed as the the top concerns for residents. When asked directly about the PHAI, community residents identifying “relocation / clean up / transfer of low-level radioactive waste to the PHAI facility” as a top issue decreased compared to 2018.

The survey was conducted in spring 2024 by CCI Research Inc., and administered both by telephone and online to both urban and rural ward residents of Port Hope, 18 years of age or older. In response, 414 residents shared their opinions and attitudes about the PHAI project to clean up and safely store historic low-level radioactive waste within the Municipality of Port Hope.  CNL is implementing the PHAI on behalf of the Federal Crown Corporation, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.

“Public feedback is vital to the success of our projects, ” said Bill Daly, Director, Public & licensing Communications . “This survey gives us insight into what is priority for residents. We appreciate those who took the time to complete the survey and share their thoughts and opinions. ”

During the survey respondents identified the length of time the project was taking as their top concern, and 83 per cent reported ongoing confidence in CNL’s ability to safely manage the waste at the Long-Term Waste Management Facility.

Overall, respondents identified safe containment of the waste as the most important benefit of the PHAI with improved community health and safety ranking second. The survey also indicates that 69 per cent of participants were concerned about project impact on the natural environment, with trees mentioned 45 per cent of the time.

“This information helps us to adjust our messaging as needed. Each time we conduct this survey we learn something new that helps us better communicate,” Daly continued. “Residents can watch for an upcoming PHAI bulletin this summer which will provide more information on the topics of most interest to the community.”

Click here for an executive summary of the survey, and copies of the survey report are available at the CNL Public Information Office at 25 Henderson St, Port Hope upon request.

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