Ranking for 2014: 36
Industry Sector: Other
Specific Sector: Environment
Range: $1 billion - $5 billion
Project Value: $1,280,000,000
Federal: Natural Resources Canada: $1.28 billion
Government Funds Involved: N/A
Funding Source: Public
Location: Port Hope, Ontario
Estimated End Date of Substantial Completion: 2020
The Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI) is a federal environmental clean-up program. Its mandate is the remediation and local, long-term, safe management of approximately 1.7 million cubic metres of historic low-level radioactive waste in the municipalities of Port Hope and Clarington in southern Ontario. The historic waste resulted from the radium and uranium refining operations of the former Crown corporation, Eldorado Nuclear Limited, and its private sector predecessors, which operated from the 1930s to 1988.
The PHAI has two projects: the Port Hope Project and the Port Granby Project. The PHAI Management Office, led by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, is implementing these projects on behalf of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, a federal Crown corporation.
The Port Hope Project involves the construction of an engineered above-ground mound and supporting infrastructure for the safe, long-term management of approximately 1.2 million cubic metres of historic low-level radioactive waste, cleanup of the waste from various major sites, and small-scale sites in Port Hope and transportation of the waste to a new long-term waste management facility currently under construction. After the facility is capped and closed, anticipated to be in 2022, ongoing maintenance and monitoring will continue for hundreds of years. Construction of a $25.5 million wastewater treatment plant at the new site was completed in 2014, and construction of the first storage cell in the above-ground mound began in summer 2016. The Port Hope Project Property Radiological Survey, currently in progress, involves the radiological testing of approximately 4,800 public and private properties—small-scale sites—for the presence of historic low-level radioactive waste. It is expected that 90 per cent of properties will not require remediation. Cleanup of the remaining properties and the major sites is expected to begin when the long-term waste management facility is ready to receive waste in 2018.
The Port Granby Project involves the relocation of approximately 450,000 cubic metres of historic low-level radioactive waste, located at an existing site on the shoreline of Lake Ontario in Southeast Clarington, to a new, engineered aboveground mound at a longterm waste management facility being constructed approximately 700 metres north of the lake. Ongoing maintenance and monitoring will continue for hundreds of years after the facility is capped and closed. Construction of a $28.8 million wastewater treatment plant has been completed. Construction of the first storage cell of the aboveground mound and a temporary underpass below Lakeshore Road to connect existing and new sites began in spring 2016. Waste excavated at the existing facility will be safely transported by truck, beginning in fall 2016, through the underpass along a dedicated access road to the new long-term waste management facility, avoiding the movement of waste on public roadways. Substantial completion of the entire Port Hope Area Initiative is expected by 2022.