Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel involves containing and isolating it inside a deep geological repository, more than 500 metres underground in a suitable rock formation. As part of this plan, a Centre of Expertise will be established at, or near, the repository site, becoming one of the first large-scale physical features of the project and an important landmark for local residents and visitors.
We have been in discussions with the communities around the design and use of the Centre of Expertise since 2019, applying what we’ve learned to the conceptual architectural drawings seen below. The concept behind the visioning process is to advance the communities’ ambition for the Centre as a hub for revitalization, research and education. This process will ensure that the facility reflects the unique character of the area that is selected to host Canada's plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.
The Centre will be home to a technical and social research program, and a technology demonstration program that displays the entire process of packaging and placing the containers of used nuclear fuel into the repository. The physical appearance of the Centre will take the surrounding environment into consideration. A place for world-class science and innovation as well as enriching social services identified by local residents, the Centre of Expertise will bring new, high-value jobs to the community including scientists and experts from a wide variety of disciplines for generations to come.
The Centre of Expertise will be a multi-million-dollar investment in the area making it one of the most tangible benefits and most exciting commitments made by the NWMO to the communities that host the deep geological repository.
In 2022, we released updated artistic renderings of the Centre of Expertise in both the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area and the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area. The current drawings are based on continuing conversations with the communities about the design and use of the Centre.
Public feedback will be reflected in updated concepts of the facility which will be shared with the communities as part of the NWMO’s ongoing journey of learning and dialogue with siting communities.