CNL announces completion of Port Granby Project

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) recently marked completion of the Port Granby project which involved the safe excavation and transfer of low-level radioactive waste from an unstable site to a newly constructed waste management facility.

Over 1.3 million tonnes of waste excavated from the Lake Ontario shoreline in Southeast Clarington is now safely stored in the engineered, above-ground storage mound that was capped and closed in fall 2021. CNL is implementing the PHAI on behalf of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), a federal Crown corporation.

At a recent celebration, officials were given an up-close look at the restored lakefront site and the drumlin-shaped storage mound, located about 700 metres away from the lake, which blends with the local landscape.

“The completion of the Port Granby Project represents a major milestone for the community of Clarington and fulfills the Government of Canada’s commitment to safely address the long-term management of this waste,” commented the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s minister of natural resources. “In order to move forward and establish a clean energy future here in Canada, we must first address the legacies of the past.”

The PHAI is one of the most complex environmental remediation projects in Canada and one of several projects being undertaken by CNL, including the design and construction of a similar facility, known as the Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF), proposed for the Chalk River Laboratories site.

CNL is committed to recognizing Indigenous rights and interests, and engagement with local First Nations and Indigenous communities and organizations is a critical component of the Port Hope Area Initiative.

“CNL is pleased to incorporate environmental stewardship and sustainability into every decision we make as an organization, as we develop solutions that stand the test of time. These were our objectives with the Port Granby Project,” said Joe McBrearty CNL President and CEO. “This remarkable achievement was brought to fruition through strong working relationships with our federal and municipal partners, with our contractors and suppliers, with many stakeholders who have an interest in the project, and with local Indigenous communities who care so deeply about the environment.”

Construction of the storage mound began in 2016 and involved the installation of multi-layered base liner and cover systems to safely isolate the waste from the environment.

In November 2020, CNL completed the excavation and safe transfer of historic waste from the former site on the shore of Lake Ontario. Dedicated systems within the mound and around the perimeter of the facility will allow maintenance and monitoring of the facility’s safety and performance for years into the future. 


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