Fluoride Action Network

Port Hope, Ontario, Canada: High Cameco emissions reading reported

Source: Northumberland Today | February 18th, 2010 | By Joyce Cassin
Industry type: Nuclear Industry

-Criteria on ambient air quality by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MoE) is set at 40 micrograms of fluoride per 100 square centimetres over a period of 30 days, but Cameco’s Port Hope conversion facility exceeded that by 18 points in the third quarter, Rebecca Peters, superintendent of compliance and licensing, told Port Hope council Tuesday.

The third-quarter average was 19, but there was a 58 maximum reading, Peters said.

When asked specifically by Mayor Linda Thompson, Peters said Cameco investigated the cause once they realized the reading was not incompliance with the parameter set by the MoE, and discovered there were several “small releases” that came out through the HVAC system.

“It’s a criteria, not a limit,” Peters said. “But we’re striving to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

She said they are required to be in compliance with set limits.

Other highlights at the facility included achieving a one-year lost-time accident-free status on Aug. 25, 2009 and a well contractor licence on Aug. 28.

They also received a MoE permit to take water on Sep. 9.

“We no longer have to hire outside contractors,” said Peters.

Within the next couple of weeks, new duct work will be installed on the uranium hexafluoride plant -coming out of the west end of the plant and up and over the plant’s roof to the tower and into a stack, Peters said.

“Just in case people see work going on, this is what is happening,” Peters said.

Regrading the pump and treat system, nine wells have been in full operation in the third quarter of 2009 and all required sampling under the groundwater monitoring program was completed, she said.

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See also: Feb 20, 2010: Fluoride contamination released through Cameco HVAC system