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.