A message from Cameco vice-president, Dale Clark
April 9, 2020
The past month has been a challenging month for all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and has created a lot of uncertainty and concern for many people. In this rapidly changing environment, we continue to be guided by our commitment to health and safety as our top priority, and our commitment to our communities.
On April 8, 2020 we announced that UF6 production at the Port Hope Conversion Facility will be temporarily suspended, and the UF6 plant will be placed in a state of safe shutdown for approximately four weeks. Although the UF6 plant continues to operate safely, the COVID-19 related screening protocols we have put in place to align with the directives of government and public health authorities have created significant difficulty in ensuring that an adequate workforce is always available to support uninterrupted operation of the plant. As a result of the suspended production at UF6, we are also temporarily suspending production of UO3 at our Blind River Refinery and placing it in safe care and maintenance mode for approximately four weeks.
Our UO2 plant at the conversion facility will continue to operate and our fuel manufacturing facilities in Port Hope and Cobourg will continue the production of fuel bundles and reactor components. 60% of the Ontario’s energy comes from nuclear power and Cameco has an important role providing the UO2 and fuel bundles needed so our nuclear fleet can continue to deliver a stable and reliable supply of electricity to the hospitals, homes, businesses and grocery stores across the province.
More details are provided in the news release - Cameco Announces Temporary Operational Changes in Ontario
Our facilities continue to be safe places to work. And we know how challenging it is right now for frontline healthcare professionals and first responders to stay safe during this pandemic. As a gesture of our gratitude for their work and to help keep them safe, we have donated surplus 3M half face respirators and cartridges, N95 masks, respirator wipes, goggles and goggle style safety glasses to Northumberland Hills Hospital. We were also able to help out the Port Hope Police Services when they expressed a need for safety glasses.
In Blind River, P100 masks and sanitizer have been donated to Children’s Aid and to the local hospital. We are also working with the local hospital to fabricate a new design of protective shields for certain tasks.
We know that financial security is weighing on the minds of many in our community and that more people are needing to access foodbanks as a result of the pandemic. We recently made a $10,000 contribution to the Fare Share Food Bank in Port Hope and Cobourg to support their efforts to assist those in need.
Supporting each other and following the guidance of health authorities to protect ourselves and each other are key to getting through this. I know that these are uncertain times but I am certain that we will get through this together.
If you have any questions, we encourage you to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905.800.2020.
Fuel Services Division