After getting the go-ahead from Canada’s nuclear watchdog, the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) has begun the process of cleaning up 4.4 million tonnes of radioactive tailings at a derelict uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan.
In November, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) approved part of SRC’s quarter-billion-dollar plan to “remediate” the Gunnar uranium mine, which was abandoned in 1964 with virtually no cleanup work.
Now, SRC is seeking a consultant to develop a detailed project plan for covering the tailings deposits with a at least 0.6 metres of earth or aggregate.
According to a request for proposals, which was issued in mid-December and closed this week, the Crown corporation requires “experts to supply advice and guidance to SRC during the development of a construction Project Execution Plan (PEP) for the Gunnar Former Mine Site Tailings Remediation Project.”
“We have sort of plans and blueprints, and we’re looking at constructing something called this ‘Project Execution Plan,’ ” said SRC environmental remediation manager Ian Wilson.
“How are we best going to execute those blueprints, in essence, to be efficient with public money, to be safe and to maximize local benefit and capacity-building?”
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