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July 16, 2021

Women in Nuclear visits the Port Hope Area Initiative

Over 25 participants from 10 companies and organizations in Durham recently came together in Port Hope to learn about the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI). The Women in Nuclear (WiN) visit was an opportunity for professional women in the industry to gain access to a behind the scenes tour of the multifaceted PHAI project that is being implemented by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL).

WiN members got a firsthand look at the ongoing clean-up work at the Port Hope Harbour and the multiple environmental considerations for working in marine eco-systems, such as protecting species at risk.

The group also had a drive by tour of residential properties and businesses slated for cleanup – an element that makes the PHAI project unique – as CNL works safely alongside residents and operating businesses while minimizing the impact of construction on their daily lives.

Participants reflected positively on the tour, pleased with the opportunity to learn about this unique PHAI project from other women in the nuclear sector.  Many participants said the PHAI was much more complex than they anticipated. “Every time we [visit CNL] I find there is something new to learn.” said Judy Bartley, WiN Durham Executive member and OPG employee, “I’m proud to see the positives that are coming out of the decontamination work.”

During discussions, participants asked about the designated project trucking routes and learned that they were selected to minimize the impact of truck traffic on the community. Participants also asked about safety and compliance processes. CNL conducts ongoing compliance and surveillance oversight inspections to ensure subcontractors are working to meet project commitments and regulatory requirements with health, safety, security, and the environmental protection as the top priorities.

Women in Nuclear (WiN) is an active, member based, not-for-profit organization that inspires women in the nuclear sector by creating opportunities for mentoring, networking, and personal development. WiN Canada has over 1,700 members and features six regional chapters including the Durham chapter which encompasses the Eastern Greater Toronto Area including Port Hope.

Women currently working in the application of radiation and nuclear technology are making a vital contribution as leaders although they represent only 20% of the overall workforce in the nuclear industry. The overall feeling after the presentation and site tour was encouraging – a strengthened awareness about the active and engaged role of women working at CNL.

For more information on Women in Nuclear, visit

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