The production of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) restarted today at Cameco Corporation’s Port Hope conversion facility. The plant had been closed down since July 2007 to address leaks of uranium and other production-related substances were discovered.
The cause of the subsurface leaksand their effects have been investigated. Rehabilitation of the Port Hope plant included constructing a well system to collect contaminated water which is then evaporated to remove contaminants before disposal.
During the plant closure, the company lost its supplier of hydrofluoric acid (HF) necessary in the the creation of UF6. Negotiations between Cameco and HF supplier are ongoing a company spokesperson said Monday. Current stocks of HF will allow for reduced production of UF6 at the plant for about one month, it was reported Monday.
Today, a Cameco statement says the company expects to achieve its 2008 production target for uranium dioxide (UO2) by the end of September. On Oct. 10, Cameco will begin a planned maintenance shutdown of the UO2 plant, located at the Port Hope conversion facility. The U02 plant is expected to restart early in 2009.