Canada awards contract for legacy waste facility

2 March 2010

The government of Canada has awarded a CAD$20million contract for the design and long-term management of a low-level waste facility to be built in Port Hope. The contract was awarded to the joint venture of MMM Group Limited/Conestoga-Rovers and Associates Limited of Thornhill, Ontario.

“Our goal is the cleanup and safe long-term management of historic low-level radioactive waste in the Port Hope area. This is an important step forward in our commitment to the people in the Port Hope community,” said Rick Norlock, Member of Parliament for Northumberland.

Work will be funded under the Port Hope Area Initiative, a federally sponsored project to clean up historic low-level waste in the municipalities of Port Hope and Clarington, in Ontario. The waste originated from a radium and uranium refinery that began operations in Port Hope in the 1930s.

In addition to the detailed design of the long-term waste management facility, the joint venture will design the associated supporting infrastructure and plan the remediation of numerous sites throughout the municipality.

The contract also includes the provision of building oversight services during the construction phase of the Port Hope Area Initiative. Design work will begin immediately and construction is expected to begin in 2011.

In Port Hope, the PHAI project will entail the excavation of approximately 1.2 million m3 of waste from multiple locations. In Clarington some 500,000 m3 of historic LLRW must be excavated from the closed Port Granby Waste Management Facility.

The first phase of the three-phase project, which included environmental assessments and licensing, is now largely complete. The second or implementation phase is the remediation of the contaminated sites and construction of the new facilities in Port Hope and Port Granby. The third phase involves the long-term maintenance and monitoring of the facilities in accordance with licensing conditions and approvals received from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The PHAI is currently in a transition phase between Phase 1 and 2 to prepare for Phase 2 construction.

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