The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has launched a virtual open house to share details about the co-designed environmental baseline monitoring program and the work that has been accomplished to date. The baseline program is part of the NWMO’s ongoing investigations for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The data collected will help inform the site selection process and contribute to an understanding of the local environment and how it can be protected.
“The information that we are collecting helps us understand the existing conditions and trends of many features in the environment,” said Joanne Jacyk, Manager of the Environment Program at the NWMO. “The program is co-designed with local participation, and is centered on the questions and concerns of the community.”
A site selection process has been underway since 2010 to find a site for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel. Twenty-two communities put up their hands to learn more about the project and explore their potential to host it. Following an increasingly intensive program of technical study and social engagement and a gradual process of narrowing down, two sites remain under consideration. One is located near Ignace in the traditional territory of Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation in northwestern Ontario, and the other in the Municipality of South Bruce and the traditional territory of Saugeen Ojibway Nation in southern Ontario.
“It is important for us to understand how the environment is changing now, so that good decisions can be made to protect and maybe even improve the current conditions,” said Ms. Jacyk. “It is also important that the data collected addresses the questions and concerns of the community.”
The environmental work is extremely robust and covers a wide range of subjects, including soil sampling, tissue chemistry, hydrology, surface water quality, atmospheric studies, terrestrial ecosystem mapping, moose surveys and more.
Click here to visit the virtual open house.
There is a link in the virtual open house where visitors can book a time to have an NWMO specialist act as tour guide through the open house in order to answer any questions they might have.
About the NWMO
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 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Keepers 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.