The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is continuing our site investigations in the Ignace area to ensure we have the necessary data, information and knowledge to implement Canada’s plan to safely manage used nuclear fuel.
On July 9, 2019, the NWMO began drilling a second borehole in the Revell Batholith, an area located midway between Ignace and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation.
The purpose of this borehole is to obtain core samples for testing and to provide access to the geosphere at depth for further investigations. Site preparations for drilling a third borehole are also underway. These two locations will be within 2.5 kilometres of the first borehole drilling site in the area, where work began in late 2017.
“We are committed to protecting both people and the environment. That is why the NWMO has taken significant steps to avoid and minimize the environmental impacts of these boreholes,” said Joanne Jacyk, Section Manager of Environmental Assessment. “By working in collaboration with local Indigenous guides and with the knowledge they bring, we were able to choose a route for the temporary access roads to the drill sites that minimizes impacts on the environment. In addition, the timing of site preparation activities was planned to minimize environmental impacts on local wildlife.”
“Canada’s plan is advancing, and it is exciting to be moving forward with additional boreholes in this area,” adds Geoff Crann, Site Services Manager at the NWMO. “As our work progresses, additional boreholes help us better understand the geology in the area, which ensures our commitment to protecting both people and the environment, now and in the future, should this area be selected to host a deep geological repository.”
Borehole drilling is just one of many ways the NWMO is studying the characteristics of the rock at or near a potential repository site for Canada’s used nuclear fuel.
“These new core samples mark another important milestone in Canada’s plan,” Mr. Crann said. “I want to thank the many people in the region who have continued to work with us as we go through this process together.”
The Ignace area is one of five currently involved in the NWMO’s site selection process, which includes technical and geological studies (like borehole drilling), as well as work to build necessary support as part of the NWMO’s efforts to identify a single, preferred location in an area with informed and willing hosts by 2023. The project will only proceed with interested communities, First Nation and Métis communities, and surrounding municipalities, working together to implement it.