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The overall objective of the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI) is the cleanup and safe long-term management of approximately 1.7 million cubic metres of historic low-level radioactive waste within the neighbouring Ontario municipalities of Port Hope and Clarington. The waste is located at the Welcome Waste Management Facility and other sites in Port Hope and at the Port Granby waste management facility in Clarington.
The historic waste resulted from radium and uranium processing in Port Hope between 1933 and 1988 by the former Crown Corporation Eldorado Nuclear Limited and its private-sector predecessors.
The PHAI is based on a 2001 legal agreement between the Government of Canada and the local municipalities of Port Hope and Clarington to carry out the cleanup.
The PHAI will be carried out as two projects: the Port Hope Project, addressing wastes in Port Hope, and the Port Granby Project, addressing wastes in southeast Clarington. The Port Hope Project involves the construction of a new long-term waste management facility at the site of the existing Welcome facility, the cleanup of historic waste throughout the community, and the transport of that waste to the new facility, where it will be safely managed. The Port Granby Project involves the construction of a new waste management facility in Clarington and the transfer of approximately 500,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste from the existing Port Granby waste management facility to the new facility for long-term management.
The PHAI has three phases: planning, implementation and long-term monitoring and maintenance. The planning phase of both projects is essentially complete. Environmental assessments and detailed designs have been completed. Both projects have also been licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
The implementation phase for the Port Granby Project has been fully approved to proceed to completion. The Port Hope Project will advance in stages. The first stage is now underway, and involves the resurvey of 4800 properties to delineate contamination and the construction of enabling works including the water treatment facility. A second stage will involve the construction of the long-term waste management facility and major sites remediation. A final stage involves the remediation of small-scale sites.
In February 2012, the Minister of Natural Resources announced a Government of Canada investment of $1.28 billion over 10 years for the implementation phase of the PHAI.
Natural Resources Canada has overall responsibility for the PHAI. It provides the funding and is responsible for policy direction and oversight. The Port Hope Area Initiative Management Office is responsible for the implementation of the projects. The PHAI is being undertaken as a joint initiative of Natural Resources Canada, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Public Works and Government Services Canada.
Office of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
Natural Resources Canada
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