CAMECO RESUMES PRODUCTION AT ONTARIO OPERATIONS
Cameco announced is resuming production at its Port Hope Conversion Facility’s UF6 plant and its Blind River Refinery in Ontario. Both operations are planned to restart the week of May 18, 2020 and achieve regular production levels the week of May 25, 2020.
On April 8, 2020, Cameco announced that these facilities would be placed in a temporary safe shutdown state for approximately four weeks and, where possible, maintenance work scheduled for the summer would be advanced. Screening protocols and other measures put in place to align with government and public health directives around COVID-19 were contributing to workforce uncertainty at the UF6 plant, which is a complex operation designed to run as a continuous process without interruption. The decision was therefore made to suspend production at the plant, as well as at the Blind River Refinery, since the majority of the UO3 produced there is used in the production of UF6 at Port Hope.
The workforce situation has now stabilized, providing Cameco with increased certainty around the availability of necessary personnel to operate the UF6 plant. With the appropriate conditions currently in place to resume normal operations, we have decided to return both the plant and the refinery to production.
During the temporary shutdown of these two sites, the remainder of Cameco’s Ontario operations, including UO2 production at the Port Hope Conversion Facility and fuel bundle production at Cameco Fuel Manufacturing, continued to operate safely.
While the two Ontario facilities return to production, there is no change in the status of Cameco’s Cigar Lake uranium mine. The operation remains in a safe state of care and maintenance for an indeterminate duration, as pandemic conditions continue to challenge a number of northern Saskatchewan communities.
Cameco Corporation based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 2015, is the world’s second largest uranium producer, accounting for 18% of world production.
(Source: Cameco – Image: Blind River Refinery/Canadian Nuclear Safety)
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