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, Canada. 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 Historic Waste Programs Management Office, led by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), 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 aboveground 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 (LTWMF) currently under construction. After the facility is capped and closed, anticipated to be in 2025, ongoing maintenance and monitoring will continue for hundreds of years.
The Port Granby Project involves the relocation of approximately 450,000 cubic metres of historic low-level radioactive waste, removed from a former storage site on the shoreline of Lake Ontario in Southeast Clarington, to a new, engineered aboveground mound at a long-term waste management facility approximately 700 metres north of the lake.
In November 2020 CNL announced a significant milestone for the Port Granby Project. Following the removal of more than 1.3 million tonnes of contaminated soil and industrial garbage that had been located on the unstable shoreline site for almost a century, the historic low-level radioactive waste is now securely stored at the new long-term waste management facility.
In September 2021, CNL marked the completion of the capping and closing of the storage mound, representing the most significant project milestone to date, and moving the project to the final stage in addressing this long-standing environmental issue. Monitoring and maintenance will continue at the Port Granby LTWMF for centuries to come.