Small uranium concentrate spill closes highway in southwestern Saskatchewan

SWIFT CURRENT, Canada - A stretch of highway in southwest Saskatchewan has been cordoned off until morning after a tractor-trailer carrying 63 drums of uranium concentrate bound for a refinery rolled, spilling a small part of its load.

See Full Article

RCMP have notified residents within a 1.6-kilometre radius of what happened, but say an evacuation was deemed unnecessary because there were no homes downwind from the scene.

The rollover happened around noon on Monday on Highway 4, about 10 kilometres north of Swift Current, Sask.

Capt. Greg Campbell of the Swift Current fire department says there was a minor crack in the container carrying the yellowcake, which has a low level of radioactivity, but the spill is mostly contained.

The uranium was produced by a company in Australia and was being shipped through the United States en route to Cameco's refinery in Blind River, Sask.

Campbell says Cameco officials and their contractors have been on site and will undertake the cleanup, with oversight by Canutec, the Transport Canada agency that is responsible for public safety in the transportation of dangerous goods.

"Basically what we've done is we've just created a safe area around it, not allowing anybody close to it," says Campbell.

The driver of the tractor-trailer unit was not seriously injured and was able to help first responders by providing them information on his cargo.

Campbell says officials are being cautious, explaining that though regulations might normally require a certain safety zone in such cases, "the boundaries that we created around it were much greater than that. You take a high level of safety."

He says there is little threat of radiation exposure for first responders "as long as you're not ingesting it and don't spend a huge amount of time right next to it."

Because the container involved is sitting on its end, Campbell says the decision has been made to keep the road blocked off for now.

"It's one of those situations where obviously the team has decided it's much safer to proceed with laying it down in the daylight, not in the dark," he says.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Saudis say they will reopen Yemen's main airport, port for humanitarian aid

    World News CBC News
    The Saudi-led military coalition fighting against the Houthi movement in Yemen said Wednesday it would allow aid access through the port of Hodeidah and United Nations flights to Sanaa airport. The coalition closed all air, land and sea access to Yemen earlier this month following the interception of a missile fired towards the Saudi capital. Source
  • National inquiry into MMIWG community hearings LIVE

    Canada News CBC News
    David Cassidy, former Partridge Family teen actor, dead at 67 Source
  • Search resumes for dog-walker missing in Coquitlam, B.C.

    Canada News CTV News
    A dogwalker and three dogs remain unaccounted for in Coquitlam, B.C., after rescue efforts were scaled back overnight due to weather concerns. Annette Poitras, 56, has been missing since Monday afternoon, when she was out walking trails with her own dog and two others in the Coquitlam area on what has been described as an otherwise routine day for owner of the dog-walking business Annette's Doggie Daycare. Source
  • British budget: Precious few goodies as post-Brexit reality will slow growth

    World News CBC News
    Britain's treasury chief has outlined cautious spending plans to a nation bracing for the shock of Britain's departure from the European Union amid a steady worsening in economic forecasts. Philip Hammond revealed Wednesday a deteriorating outlook, as a slowing economy and stubborn deficit mean there is little money to increase public spending in the face of demands from teachers, firefighters and the military. Source
  • Six-year-old girl kills deer under Wisconsin's new hunting rules

    World News CTV News
    MILWAUKEE -- A Wisconsin kindergartener is among the first youngsters to bag a buck under a new law that eliminates the state's minimum hunting age. Lexie Harris, 6, is no stranger to the woods. Source
  • Father stabbed to death was protecting friend: family

    Canada News CTV News
    A man who was stabbed to death in a Calgary home last week has been identified as a Humberto (Robert) Panameno, a father of four who gave his life to save another, according to his family. Source
  • U.S. declares 'ethnic cleansing' against Rohingya in Myanmar

    World News CTV News
    Rohingya Muslims, who spent four days in the open after crossing over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, carry their belongings after they were allowed to proceed towards a refugee camp, at Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Oct. 19, 2017. (Dar Yasin/AP) Source
  • Kim Kardashian, Rihanna call for release of child sex slave jailed for murder

    World News CTV News
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Cara Delevingne are among a number of celebrities championing the cause of former teen prostitute Cyntoia Brown, who at 16 was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man who paid her for sex. Source
  • Liberals' tax proposals still need work despite changes, critics insist

    Canada News CBC News
    A coalition of industry associations says Bill Morneau must make more changes to the controversial tax proposals he first unveiled last summer to ensure he addresses deep, persistent concerns in the small-business community. The group, which came together in recent months as a vocal opponent of the finance minister's tax-reform plan, is urging him to go further — beyond the adjustments he made to calm an uproar that dogged him for months. Source
  • Closing arguments over destruction of gas plants records to be heard today

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Closing arguments are set to be heard today at the Toronto trial of two former senior political aides accused of destroying documents. Defence lawyers will be pushing the Ontario court judge to acquit David Livingston and Laura Miller. Source