Vision in Motion
Above: Watch timelapse video of center pier demolition in spring, 2019.
Vision in Motion (VIM) will engage in clean-up and renewal activities that will improve the look and efficiency of the site and address legacy waste at the Port Hope Conversion Facility that was inherited from historic operations. VIM is a unique and timely opportunity made possible by the Port Hope Area Initiative’s (PHAI) construction of a Long Term Waste Management Facility (LTWMF).
A key to the success of this project is collaboration and teamwork with the PHAI and the Municipality of Port Hope (MPH). VIM is a large, long-term investment at the site and Cameco is working closely with the PHAI to manage the historic low-level waste and coordinate remediation and redevelopment of the conversion facility.
Cameco also works very closely with the Municipality of Port Hope (MPH) and members of the community to ensure that VIM aligns with the community planning objectives for waterfront redevelopment. In alignment with the community plans, the project allows for the return of the Centre Pier for municipality use, greater public access to the turning basin area and improved access to the west beach pier area via the Choate Street extension.
Cameco’s Vision in Motion project activities will include:
- removal of up to 150,000 cubic metres of inherited waste materials, including some soil excavation
- removal of some of the conversion facility’s surplus buildings
- construction and refurbishment of buildings to improve the look and efficiency of the site
- installation of flood protection barriers that will also provide radiation, noise and visual shielding along the eastern fence-line
- improvements to storm water management infrastructure
- fence line shifts away from the harbour along the inner harbour and at the south end of the facility
BENEFITS OF VISION IN MOTION
Cameco’s VIM plans reflect feedback from both the community and municipal leaders who suggested we move the conversion facility’s footprint away from the harbour, wherever possible, and provide greater public access to the harbour. Upon completion of VIM activities Cameco’s footprint will be reduced by 20%.
Other key benefits include:
- safe clean up and management of legacy waste
- jobs for the duration of the project
- long-term viability of Port Hope area’s largest industrial employer
- enhanced public access to waterfront
- improved operations appearance and environmental performance
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Since the summer of 2017, we have been preparing packaged materials currently stored at Centre Pier for transport to the LTWMF. Packaged materials must meet acceptance criteria for the waste management facility and will be safely transported from Centre Pier to our conversion facility for repackaging. This repackaged waste is being transferred to the LTWMF.
The tower of one of the site’s older buildings is being prepared for equipment removal and demolition, expected late 2019.
Work has also begun at the South End of the facility. Cameco is relocating empty storage cylinders to provide room for a new hydrogen station and allowing for shifting the fence line back.
VIM is an important project Cameco is undertaking at its Port Hope Conversion Facility. One of the many benefits of the VIM project is reducing the conversion facility’s footprint and ensuring lands on the Centre Pier will be available to the MPH for development.
The success of this project is rooted in collaboration and teamwork with the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI) and the MPH. Activities being completed on Port Hope’s Centre Pier are integral to the project.
Port Hope’s Centre Pier is located on the harbour near the conversion facility and for many years it has been used as a temporary storage site for legacy waste Cameco inherited from previous operations. To address the waste, the PHAI constructed a LTWM located in the Municipality of Port Hope just south of Highway 401. The planned activities on Centre Pier include removal of all waste, existing buildings and the temporary storage mound.
In 2015, VIM activities began and two small buildings on the pier were removed. The drummed waste stored in buildings 43 and 40, were repackaged and are transported to the LTWMF.
As the super sacs are being transferred to the LTWMF, the community can expect to see an increase in construction traffic around the Centre Pier and site. While doing this work on the Centre Pier, and accessing unpaved areas, dust will be minimized to prevent it from becoming a nuisance. To reduce the dust, Cameco has implemented road watering and street sweeping activities that will be visible to the community. This dust is not a result of regular operations and is largely due to increased construction traffic.
Community members will also notice additional monitoring stations around the facility and the Centre Pier. These additional stations will operate through VIM to confirm air quality standards are being met while these non-routine activities are underway. As well, there will be restricted access for pedestrians near the harbour area where work is being conducted.
During VIM activities, the community may hear the trucks and demolition of buildings but all will be usual construction noise, within permissible noise levels and during the daytime hours.
Once VIM activities are completed the land will be available to the Municipality of Port Hope for development.
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SOUTH END OF THE FACILITY
An important part of the Vision in Motion project is reducing the conversion facility’s land footprint by seven acres and providing the public more access to the harbour. Certain activities and changes planned to occur at the south end of the Port Hope Conversion Facility are an integral to the project.
Work has already begun at the south end of the facility.
Cameco is relocating empty storage cylinders to provide room for a new hydrogen station. Construction of this hydrogen station will be completed within our fence line.
Additional activities occurring at the south end of the facility will include remediating some of the lands between the fence line and the waterfront, and infrastructure enhancements, such as improvements to the storm water management systems.
These changes at the south end of our conversion facility site allow Cameco to shift its southernmost fence line northward approximately 15 metres. This shift in our fence line helps fulfill the commitment to reduce our footprint and provides the public with more access to the southern end of the harbour.
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CHOATE STREET EXTENSION
As part of the Vision in Motion construction project, Cameco has worked with community stakeholders and the Municipality of Port Hope (MPH) to ensure VIM is aligned with community planning objectives for waterfront redevelopment.
Included in the planned activities, the conversion facility’s fence line will be shifted further away from the harbour. This shift occurs along the inner harbour and at the south end of the facility.
The fence line shift will allow for greater public use of the lands around the facility. In fact, the conversion facility will return seven acres of land for public use which represents a 20 per cent reduction in the footprint of the conversion facility.
Choate Street will be extended at the west side of the conversion facility and will be accessible by the public, employees and trucks that come to the facility.
These plans for an extension of Choate Street align with the community’s plans for access to the south end area. The design and construction of this road will be as tight as possible to Cameco’s property which reduces its impact on the beach as much as possible. The majority of the road is planned to be constructed on areas that are currently grassed berms, not the sandy beach area.
Timelines for this project will be managed by the municipality in close collaboration with Cameco. The MPH contractors will be in charge of the road design, construction and environmental assessment and PHAI will remediate of the soil. Once work commences, the community will see construction of a new road, no different than the construction of any new road in Port Hope and there will also be the usual construction noise but all within permissible noise levels and during the daytime hours.
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The environmental review process for Vision in Motion began in June 2006 and consisted of a number of technical and environmental assessment submissions to regulators in 2008.
The project’s environmental assessment was accepted by the federal Minister of the Environment in December 2012 followed in February 2013, with CNSC issuance of a Course of Action Decision Statement confirming their acceptance.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How many jobs will be created during this project?
To complete the Vision in Motion project Cameco will create some temporary and full time positions and also award certain contracts for the duration of the project. This may result in as many as 50 – 100 contractor positions over the duration of the project.
You mentioned this being a long-term investment at the site, can you elaborate on that more?
This investment will result in long-term environmental benefits and infrastructure improvements that will ensure the future of the site.
The clean-up and renewal activities will improve the look and efficiency of the site and address legacy waste issues at the facility.
What plans are in place to add greenery (trees and plants) to the facility?
There will be minimal planting within our fence line due to security restrictions, but grass seed will be planted in certain areas. Once the Vision in Motion project is complete, there will be opportunity to work with Municipality of Port Hope to explore ways to improve greenery in the harbour area.
What is the plan for the Choate Street extension?
Plans for a Choate Street extension were developed after many years of public input and consultation with the municipality.
In 2005/2006, Cameco engaged in an extensive public consultation process involving more than 500 local residents and other stakeholders, including the Municipality of Port Hope and non-governmental organizations.
In addition to asking the community for its input, Cameco has communicated its VIM plans extensively since 2006.
Cameco engaged a third party to conduct a series of targeted communications and community engagement initiatives.
For more information and facts of the Choate Street extension and the public consultation process see VIM Overview - Choate Street Extension (PDF - 3.8 MB)
Why were you unable to preserve any of the buildings on the Centre Pier?
There were many discussions with the municipality, the Port Hope Area Initiative and the community about preservation of buildings or parts of buildings, but it was technically challenging to preserve these buildings while still meeting the PHAI’s cleanup criteria. The Municipality of Port Hope council also determined that removal was the most reasonable option, based on cost and potential impact on the PHAI schedule.
How can I tell if a truck is shipping waste materials?
All trucks will be properly labelled and waste movement activities will be overseen by the appropriate regulator.
The trucks shipping waste material from Cameco’s property will be carrying a blue or yellow sea container. The colour does not indicate a difference in the material it’s carrying. Cameco will also be using dump trucks to ship building materials to the waste site.
What would happen if one of the trucks transporting the waste materials were involved in an accident?
All waste movement activities will be overseen by the appropriate regulator.
All necessary safety precautions will be taken including extensive training, mandatory vehicle specifications and comprehensive emergency response procedures.
What is being done to protect the public while contaminated materials are being transported along municipal streets?
A comprehensive radiation protection protocol has been established and implemented to ensure all potential hazards are eliminated or mitigated. Our materials are packaged and generally materials have relatively low uranium concentrations therefore posing little risk to the public and the environment.
I live close to the facility. What’s being done to limit noise during the Vision in Motion project?
We take potential noise issues very seriously. To address these potential issues, we will be monitoring noise throughout the project and plan work to minimize noise impacts as much as possible by operating during daylight hours.
During recent demolition activities at the Centre Pier, noise was successfully managed resulting in no complaints and no noise monitoring results above established action levels.
How dangerous are the legacy wastes you have stored at the PHCF site?
The wastes have been safely stored on site for many years and there is no threat to the environment or the public. We have highly trained employees with the experience and knowledge to safely store and transport this type of material.
If you have a question or concern regarding our Vision in Motion project, please contact us.