Nuclear Plant Monitoring

Conduct long-term monitoring of a nuclear plant.

Environmental Consulting, Contractor Supervision, Permitting and Regulatory Liaison

The Task:

Manage soil and groundwater removal from new construction projects at Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) Darlington Nuclear Plant.  The estimated volume of soil for one portion was 25,000m3.

The Client:

OPG produces more than half of the electricity that Ontario infrastructure relies on each day. In 2014, OPG phased out coal generation which represents the single largest climate change initiative in North America. (www.opg.com)

The Challenge:

Darlington Nuclear has not seen this level of construction since it was constructed between 1980 and 1993. As a 24-hour operating plant, night-shifts were often required to limit disruption from our project to site and construction activities.  Three large construction firms were working in parallel at the site, all with soil to move, and a deadline to meet. Complicating this was the potential for soil and water contamination due to contaminants of concern at the site – including tritium and hydrazine.

The facility has very high security requirements.  With multiple projects being completed in tandem, having enough people with the right qualifications on a rapidly moving project is a challenge. OPG also has strict policies regarding contractor and sub-contractor management and occupational health and safety, requiring all workers to abide by the highest standards.  In this high security area, removal of any material (contaminated soil), equipment, vehicles, and people is highly regulated.

The Solution:

PGL has had a total of 15 employees go through Orange-Badge (nuclear security clearance) training to allow us to meet OPG’s construction and environmental schedules, and security clearances.

PGL advised on all environmental aspects of the work. We obtained a Permit to Take Water (PTTW) with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), obtained permits from the local conservation authority (CLOCA), developed work plans that follow OPG expectations, managed the development of a soil staging area, conducted soil and groundwater investigations, managed soil and groundwater, and coordinated with multiple stakeholders through a busy construction season.

PGL was instrumental in keeping various client groups, the MOECC, the Conservation Authority, and contractors in line, trained, and on track through a very busy schedule.

The Result:

PGL obtained PTTW permitting to keep site construction on schedule. We were able to adapt our regular reporting to work cohesively with OPG’s data management system. Bi-weekly project updates, monthly cost and schedule updates, and quarterly reporting helped this multi-million dollar project run smoothly, allowing OPG to remain on schedule, while also limiting interruptions to site activities.  Work at the site is ongoing, and as the client needs change, PGL is there helping keep the project on track.