December 21, 2017 7:22 am

Port Hope low-level radioactive waste remediation to begin next year

The area around Port Hope harbor and the harbor itself will be the subject of a cleanup of low level radioactive waste

Steve Guthrie / CHEX News

For decades, the town of Port Hope has been dealing with a legacy of improperly disposed of low-level radioactive waste from the Eldorado Nuclear facility.

Contaminated soil ended up around the town’s harbour and in the harbour itself as well as approximately 800 residential properties. Early attempts to remove and store the soil in a landfill has been a failure.

But now, the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories through the Port Hope Area Initiative has designated a group of qualified contractors who will begin the major phase of remediation.

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“The material, once it’s removed in the context of remediation, will be trucked, safely transported along designated haul routes to the long-term waste management facility, then the site will be restored to its original condition,” said Craig Hebert, general manager of CNL’S Historic Waste Program Management Office

READ MORE: Port Hope homeowners worried by toxic soil

The total cost of cleaning up the various sites is estimated to be around $375 million. Sites will be ‘bundled’ into contracts that will be bid on by all the contractors.

“In terms of the waterfront properties, waterfront sites rather, there’s a number of sites that will be bundled together in one contract so that will be one contract that will get underway next year. The harbour remediation and centre pier in Port Hope is another scope of work that will be bundled together and bid as a single contract,” said Hebert.

READ MORE: Workers pulled from Ontario nuclear plants due to ‘concerning trend of safety incidents,’ internal email

The contracts for cleanup of residential properties will be bundled by neighbourhood. Work is expected to begin next spring and be completed by 2022-2023.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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