On June 23, heavy rains triggered an overflow of untreated water from the collection pond at Port Hope Long-Term Waste Management Facility.
There was also an overflow from the catch basin at the Port Granby Waste Management Facility.
According to the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI)—the group responsible for the management of nuclear waste for both communities—both overflows have since been contained, but untreated water did make its way into Lake Ontario.
Both sites store low-level radioactive waste. Both sites are part of the large-scale radioactive waste cleanup project beginning in the Port Hope Area.
PHAI released a statement on June 28 saying: “The results of independent analysis of water samples collected offsite were measured against the provincial and federal criteria for the protection of aquatic life and confirm that the effect on the environment was negligible.” This is in reference to samples taken at the Port Hope facility.
No further details were disclosed.
On June 30, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper submitted a request to both PHAI and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to release the complete sample results, along with information about the sampling methodologies.
We will share the information if/when it is made available.
July 17 Update: The CNSC conducted a field inspection and has “identified deficiencies in CNL’s emergency preparedness for offsite releases and contingency planning for storing untreated water” at the Port Hope Long-Term Waste Management Facility.
As a result, the CNSC has issued an order to the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) requiring:
- The licensee to ensure its emergency preparedness measures are available to mitigate accidental releases of untreated water from the licensed site.
- The licensee must also review its water management plans and program, to ensure adequate storage capacity is available to prevent the release of radiological and nuclear and/or hazardous substances from the licensed site.
CNL oversees the Port Hope Area Initiative, and is the licensee in this case.
Click here to see CNSC’s full statement, including the actual order itself.