Results of community surveys show high public awareness about used nuclear fuel project

Fuel bundle

The survey sought to understand how people access information about Canada’s plan and communications preferences going forward.

The results of independent community surveys commissioned by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), and the Township of Ignace and the Municipality of South Bruce show high levels of community awareness about the NWMO and our work. The surveys sought to understand how people access information about Canada’s plan and communications preferences going forward.


“We are pleased to get direction from community members on the questions they would like to see addressed and the way they would like to receive information as we continue to explore the project,” said Charlene Easton, Manager of Community and Public Engagement at the NWMO. “We thank the communities for participating in the surveys, and we will be using the responses to develop plans to shape our communications and engagement as we move forward.”


Most residents of both Ignace and South Bruce are aware of the NWMO and know that their communities are part of the site selection process for a deep geological repository for the long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel.


Other key findings of the surveys include:

  • Awareness of the NWMO: Between 96 and 98 per cent of survey respondents had heard of the NWMO prior to receiving their survey.
  • Familiarity with community involvement: Between 88 and 92 per cent were very or somewhat familiar with their community’s involvement in the site selection process.
  • Awareness of willingness requirement: Between 84 and 87 per cent of survey respondents were aware the project will only be implemented with the involvement of informed and willing hosts.
  • Interest in studies: Both siting communities said they were most interested in learning about environmental studies.
  • Preferred method of communication about the project: Survey respondents preferred to receive information about the project through brochures, newsletters, meetings, and authoritative websites (such as township or the NWMO).

These results are part of two surveys commissioned by the NWMO, in collaboration with both communities. The surveys were carried out by CCI Research and took place between January and April 2021. Participants completed the survey using forms mailed to them, or they were given the option to complete it online. The surveys were mailed to 850 Ignace households and 2,099 South Bruce households.


See the full survey results:

About the NWMO


The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term storage of Canada’s used nuclear fuel in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.


We are implementing Canada’s plan to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository. The plan is based on years of public input, Indigenous Knowledge, international scientific consensus, and best practices from around the world.


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 2023, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Ignace area and South Bruce, both in Ontario.


Transparent and accountable, the NWMO works in close co-operation with communities, all levels of government, national and international regulators, Indigenous peoples, industry, academia, and civil society organizations.