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Port Hope: Cameco uranium conversion plant to stay closed until fix -regulator

Source: Reuters | February 5th, 2014 | By Rod Nickel
Location: Canada, Ontario
Industry type: Nuclear Industry

Canada’s regulator for the nuclear industry said on Wednesday that it has asked Cameco Corp to idle its Port Hope uranium conversion plant, one of the western world’s few such facilities, after an unscheduled shutdown last week.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission told Cameco not to return the Ontario facility to operation until the commission is satisfied with corrective measures.

Cameco said the plant shut down on Jan. 28 a critical process for the conversion of uranium into uranium hexafluoride, commonly known as UF6. The shutdown was due to a potentially unsafe valve configuration, the commission said.

Its inspectors on site confirmed that employees were not exposed and there was no release to the environment.

Port Hope is one of four commercial UF6 production plants in the western world. Cameco exports UF6 to be enriched and used in nuclear reactors, according to the company’s website.

A Cameco spokesman said he could not immediately comment.

Shares of Cameco were down 1.5 percent in Toronto to C$22.36. ($1=$1.11 Canadian)