On June 25, the NWMO hosted a virtual information session for residents of South Bruce. It was the first of a series of online sessions for people in the community to learn more, and for the NWMO to address residents’ questions about Canada’s plan for used nuclear fuel.
The NWMO is taking a collaborative approach to site selection, where learning and dialogue are central to the process.
“While we previously conducted in-person engagement sessions, due to COVID-19 we’ve been developing a new way to engage with community residents,” said Cherie Leslie, the NWMO’s Senior Engagement Advisor for Southern Ontario. “Connecting virtually will enable residents to learn more about the project.”
During the half-hour session, Ben Belfadhel, Vice-President of Site Selection at the NWMO, provided an introduction to Canada’s plan, explained why we are building a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel, and described our approach to safety. We chose to focus on safety in the first session because it is our highest priority and guides everything we do.
In the latter half of the presentation, Dr. Belfadhel and Dr. Erik Kremer, Section Manager, Safety Assessment at the NWMO, answered questions we received from the public in advance of the session, including: how the repository will contain and isolate used nuclear fuel, how the project will protect water and the environment, how the community will determine whether it is a willing host, and how a repository would affect the agricultural industry.
“We are here for our communities and look forward to answering questions about Canada’s plan,” said Ms. Leslie.
South Bruce is one of two potential locations for the deep geological repository. The project will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts working in partnership to implement it.