News Release: NWMO to Focus Field Studies on Fewer Communities
TORONTO, June 23, 2017 –The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is narrowing its focus to fewer communities as it prepares to further advance the next set of activities in the selection process for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel.The Municipality of Central Huron and the Township of White River will no longer be considered a potential host for the project. Both will continue to play a role as activities continue in nearby communities of Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce in the southwest, and to the northwest in the vicinity of Hornepayne and Manitouwadge.
“As we work toward identifying a single preferred site, we need to increasingly focus on specific locations that have strong potential to meet safety requirements and a foundation for sustained interest in exploring the project,” said Dr. Mahrez Ben Belfadhel, Vice-President of Site Selection. “Central Huron and White River have each made a significant contribution on behalf of Canadians to this project, and their continued leadership will be invaluable as we work together to plan next steps in their regions.”
The next activities in the areas of Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce; and Hornepayne and Manitouwadge will involve planning for more geological studies and initial discussions about visioning and partnership. Regional engagement will continue, as the project will only proceed with interested communities, potentially affected First Nation and Métis communities, and surrounding communities working in partnership to implement it.
Studies continue in areas around Ignace, Blind River and Elliot Lake, Ontario, which are also engaged in the process for siting the national infrastructure project. Ongoing field activities and engagement with municipal, First Nation and Métis communities in those regions are not affected by today’s decision.
The NWMO will continue the process of narrowing down potential sites to host the project until it arrives at one preferred safe and socially acceptable site as the focus of more detailed site characterization. The preferred site must have a suitable rock formation in an area with an informed and willing host.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.
Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.