Port Hope will benefit from a $1.28-billion injection of cash from the Government of Canada to help the Ontario town cleanup 1.2-million cubic metres of low level radioactive waste over the next decade.
Canada has dramatically increased the amount of money it will invest in a long-awaited cleanup program on the north shore of Lake Ontario. The previous cleanup cost estimate was about $250-million.
"We are so thrilled - so relieved - that the government is recognizing how important it is to clean up Port Hope," says Waterkeeper Mark Mattson.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people are intervening in a Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission hearing happening in Port Hope this week. At issue is whether the nuclear regulator should renew operating licences for Cameco's fuel-making projects in Port Hope.
Cameco, formerly known as Eldorado, was the original source of much of the historical low-level radioactive waste pollution in the town and is one of the most controversial industrial sites in Canada.
The public hearing started Tuesday night and continues Wednesday.
Waterkeeper filed a written intervention with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission asking that the licence address the following concerns in order to protect the environment:
1. The licence should address stormwater emissions from the site, which currently contain more than twice the CNSC’s internal limit on uranium discharges.
2. The licence should include discharge limits for all other effluent sources, including non-contact cooling water. These limits should be commensurate with federal and provincial standards for the protection of aquatic life.
3. The licence should not permit the discharge of process effluent to the environment.
Our submission is available here.
It is an important time for Port Hope. With a new funding commitment and an active, engaged community, the decisions being considered this week could - at long last - lead to a clean water future for this historic town.
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