In January 2014, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) concluded its preliminary assessment work in the communities of Arran-Elderslie and Saugeen Shores. Early findings indicate both have very limited potential to meet the geoscientific criteria required to host a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel. Safety, security and protection of people and the environment are central to the NWMO siting process.
The NWMO has identified the Ordovician Cobourg Formation at a depth of 500 metres as the preferred host rock for a repository, should it be located in the Bruce region. Arran-Elderslie does not contain enough of this geology at the preferred depth. Saugeen Shores contains a number of constraints that greatly reduce the prospect for finding areas that are large enough for hosting the repository’s surface and underground facilities.
The NWMO advised Mayors Paul Eagleson of Arran-Elderslie and Mike Smith of Saugeen Shores of its decision to cease preliminary assessment work in their communities. The NWMO is committed to providing early feedback to communities in a timely way as key findings in its studies emerge.
It will take several more years of detailed technical, scientific, and social study and engagement before a preferred safe site for a used nuclear fuel repository can be confirmed.