During waste placement at the new Port Granby Long-Term Waste Management Facility on Thursday, December 1, 2016, a strong ammonia-like odour was detected at the worksite. Two workers experienced symptoms such as irritation to eyes and throat, and nausea. These workers were evaluated by emergency room physicians on Dec. 1, and both were released and cleared to return to work.
The historic low-level radioactive waste at the existing Port Granby Waste Management Facility consists of by-products of the uranium refining operations of the former Eldorado Nuclear Ltd., including a variety of chemical waste, industrial refuse and contaminated soil. The waste is buried in trenches throughout the site. Early indications are that a leaking drum was the source of the ammonia-like odour. There is no indication that the leaked substance had any offsite effects, and there was no threat to the public.
Waste excavation and placement activities have been suspended at the Port Granby site while CNL and its contractor conduct a thorough review of this event and the plans and procedures in place to prevent a recurrence. Other work not related to waste excavation continues.
Updates to this notice will be provided as more information becomes available.