ONTARIO – CAMECO CORP. of Saskatoon has received regulatory approval to begin repairing and upgrading the Port Hope uranium hexafluoride (UF6) conversion plant following the discovery of soil contamination beneath the facility.
Cameco has removed most of the UF6 plant floor and the top 0.6 metre of soil beneath areas of the UF6 plant where leakage was identified. Subsequent steps involve pouring the concrete floor of the UF6 building, adding leak-proof surface coatings and re-installing equipment. Additionally, a groundwater management system outside the plant will be installed to contain, recover and treat affected groundwater.
The estimate for the cleanup of the contaminated soil at Port Hope has been increased to $15 to $20 million from the $3 million previously recorded due to an increase in the scope of work required to remediate the contaminated areas. In addition, Cameco expects to spend $20 to $25 million on plant improvements. (See www.Cameco.com)
While UF6 plant operations have been suspended since the discovery in July 2007, uranium dioxide conversion and other activities at the site have not been affected. Cameco expects to resume UF6 production in 3Q 2008, pending the approval of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.