Environment & Safety

Safety

We manage the safety of our workers through programs, systems, and standards, with our Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) Policy providing overarching guidance. There are many aspects of the management system that contribute to a safe work environment, a few examples include:

  • Risk assessments help identify issues and determine the appropriate controls; the corrective action process verifies that incidents and near misses are reported, tracked, investigated and shared with colleagues; and emergency preparedness and planning prepare us to respond to serious incidents.
  • We have developed 12 corporate safety standards to help protect our workers from our most common hazards. Some standards guide our general safety practices, such as our job hazard analysis and our job task observation, and other standards deal with specific hazardous situations (similar to other companies’ life saving rules): such as fall protection, confined space entry, rigging and hoisting, and control of hazardous energy (also referred to as lockout/tagout).
  • Routine audits are conducted to monitor compliance with regulations and our own requirements. These and other aspects of the management system are routinely examined to verify that they continue to be effective at keeping our workers safe.

Radiation Protection

Radiation risks are effectively managed at CFM through a formal radiation protection program and dedicated personnel who ensure that doses to workers are as low as reasonably achievable. The program ensures that radiation protection is considered in the physical design of all facilities and operating procedures. It also provides for systematic monitoring of radiation in work areas and tracking the exposures of individual workers using a combination of monitoring devices and health testing. Radiation exposures at CFM are far below regulatory limits.

Environmental Protection

At Cameco, protection of the environment is one of our highest corporate priorities during all stages of our activities, from exploration through development, operations, decommissioning, and reclamation.

We monitor our performance by tracking corporate and site-specific key performance indicators, conducting environmental monitoring programs, and regularly auditing our adherence to the requirements of these programs We use the information from all of our programs to help us to identify opportunities to improve.

Environmental management system

We have a ISO 14001-certified environmental management system used across our operating sites, which is supported by a corporate Environmental Management Program that outlines the operating requirements sites must meet. Our environmental management system encourages and promotes continuous adaptation of our practices based on new information and technologies.

Environmental risk assessments

We complete environmental risk assessments to systematically identify, quantify, and to characterize the potential risks to the environment, workers, and the public. We use our environmental risk assessments to inform our decisions and actions. Additionally, we complete an iterative process, where required, to verify that our proposed measures to protect the environment and the public are effective. We review or update the assessments every five years, incorporating results from our environmental monitoring programs and other scientific advances.

Corrective action process

We have a corrective action process in place to systematically investigate and address the causes of non-conformance to regulatory requirements or internal standards. The process includes classifying the non-conformance, assigning the appropriate level of investigation (dependent on incident significance), and tracking the recommended corrective actions to prevent and mitigate similar occurrences.

Audits

To support our culture of continuous improvement, our processes and operations undergo regular audits, including:

  • Our environmental management system is audited by a third-party every three years as a requirement to maintain our ISO 14001 certification.
  • Our SHEQ team conducts an internal audit of our SHEQ programs on a three-year cycle. The total audit scope is split in half and executed on a rotating basis. This means that all our sites undergo at least two audits to cover all aspects of our SHEQ programs within every three-year period. The audit follows the ISO 19001 process and encompasses our environmental and safety programs.
  • We also maintain and implement an internal audit program at our corporate office. Results and recommendations from this systematic and documented process are presented to senior management, who are responsible for implementing them and correcting any deficiencies. The internal audit group reports to the audit and finance committee of the board.

Environmental Incidents and Other Events​​

Environmental incidents and other events are reported to regulatory agencies as required by federal and provincial regulations. This includes releases to the environment reportable to Ontario Ministry of Environment's Spills Action Centre.

If you have questions about any of the items posted here, please contact us.

Latest Incident or Event

Posting Date July 25, 2022
Incident Date July 21, 2022
Incident

Emergency Response Team Activation

Details

Port Hope Fire & Emergency Services responded to a fire alarm at Cameco Fuel Manufacturing (CFM) at approximately 4:10 a.m. on July 21, 2022. Port Hope Fire & Emergency Services determined that there was no fire, and it was a false alarm.

There was no health or safety risk posed to the public or environment.

Corrective Action

Port Hope Fire & Emergency Services determined that there was no fire, and it was a false alarm. It was confirmed that the CO2 fire suppression system was the source of the false alarm and it had been removed several years ago. The alarm point has been removed from the monitoring system.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

Past reporting

Posting Date July 25, 2022
Incident Date July 21, 2022
Incident

Emergency Response Team Activation

Details

Port Hope Fire & Emergency Services responded to a fire alarm at Cameco Fuel Manufacturing (CFM) at approximately 4:10 a.m. on July 21, 2022. Port Hope Fire & Emergency Services determined that there was no fire, and it was a false alarm.

There was no health or safety risk posed to the public or environment.

Corrective Action

Port Hope Fire & Emergency Services determined that there was no fire, and it was a false alarm. It was confirmed that the CO2 fire suppression system was the source of the false alarm and it had been removed several years ago. The alarm point has been removed from the monitoring system.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

 

Posting Date July 7, 2022
Incident Date July 6, 2022
Incident

Emergency Response Team Activation

Details

The Cameco Fuel Manufacturing (CFM) Emergency Response Team (ERT) was activated in response to fumes from roofing tar work being detected by an office area smoke detector which triggers an automatic fire alarm and notifies Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services. The fire department responded to the site and confirmed the conditions that activated the alarm.

There was no health or safety risk posed to the public or environment.

Corrective Action

Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services confirmed the source of fumes was normal given the roofing work that is taking place during the CFM maintenance shutdown.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

 

Posting Date July 24, 2020
Incident Date July 23, 2020
Incident

Environmental Release

Details

A release of hydrogen occurred as the result of a failed rupture disc. The release was identified and back up safety systems performed as designed. There was no health or safety risk posed to the public, workers or the environment.

Corrective Action

Back up safety systems performed as designed to mitigate impacts to the environment. Cameco is investigating the incident further.  The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Spills Action Centre have been notified.

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating 1

Cameco Environmental Effect Rating

  • Level 1 - no measurable impact to the environment
  • Level 2 - negligible impact
  • Level 3 - short-term, seasonal impact
  • Level 4 - mortality of some species, but not affecting ecosystem function
  • Level 5 - impairment of ecosystem function
  • N/A - not applicable


Waste Management

Solid wastes contaminated by uranium are reprocessed, recycled and re-used to the extent possible. Waste materials that cannot be reprocessed, recycled or re-used are safely stored on site until appropriate disposal options are available.

Wastes generated at the facility are segregated at the point of generation into contaminated and non-contaminated. Non-contaminated waste is either recycled or transferred to a suitable facility. Contaminated waste is stored in appropriate containers pending assessment of recycling or disposal options.

Decommissioning

Detailed plans and financial guarantees are in place to ensure that sufficient funds are in place to restore CFM facilities to public use once the operation reaches the end of its productive life.

Environmental Assessment

All new significant changes to existing operations may be subject to environmental assessments to identify potential effects on the environment.

Regulatory Oversight

CFM is licensed and regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The operation is also subject to other federal and provincial regulations for the protection of people and the environment, including by Environment Canada and Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment. Federal and provincial regulators conduct regular site inspections and audits to verify that people and the environment are protected.

Sustainability at Cameco

When measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of a company, environmental, social and governance (ESG) are key factors considered by the public and investors. Sustainability and ESG matters have been an important focus at Cameco for many years and we have a strong performance record.

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