News Local

Port Hope project gets green light

By Joyce Cassin, Northumberland Today


The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)has given the Port Hope Area Initiative the go-ahead, authorizing the remediation and construction activities required to safely clean up the historic low-level radioactive waste in the community.

The CNSC decision on Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL) application lifts the hold point in the licence that was originally issued in 2009 and extends its term through Dec. 31, 2022. It follows a public hearing on AECL’s application that was held last month.

“The amended licence, together with federal funding approval announced at the beginning of 2012, will allow us to move forward in cleaning up the environment,” said Christine Fahey, General Manager for the PHAI Management Office. “The municipality and its residents strongly support the Port Hope Project, and we are pleased to have secured the final regulatory authorization needed to proceed.”

In delivering its decision, the Commission said that “AECL is qualified to carry on the activities that the licence will authorize” and will make “adequate provision for the protection of the environment and the health and safety of persons.”

At the Oct. 24 hearing, AECL presented the detailed designs that feature best-available technologies and incorporate global experience, as well as the plans that will assure the protection of health, safety and the environment. Fahey also highlighted the significant progress the Project has made since the CNSC granted the initial licence.

In making its decision, the CNSC considered submissions from AECL and CNSC staff, as well as 36 written interventions that were provided by the public – the majority in support of the Project.

“This decision marks a pivotal point in our efforts to implement a safe, long-term solution to the management of the waste in Port Hope and we appreciate the responsibility the CNSC has vested in us,” Fahey said.

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