The entire purpose of Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel is to protect people and the environment, including watersheds, for generations to come.
Watersheds are areas of land that drain or “shed” water into a specific body of water.
To protect watersheds, we are partnering with landowners, conservation authorities and other interested organizations to lead baseline and research studies to understand the natural ecological system in the area, including surface water, groundwater, soil, air, wetlands, and animals and species at risk. These studies will inform our work as we mitigate or eliminate potential adverse impacts of the project using technologies and operational best practices.
Some of these studies and research include:
- The impact of climate change to factor it into the design of the repository. Climate change is expected to cause an increase in precipitation which can impact the watershed resulting in flooding or other extreme climate events.
- Installing shallow groundwater monitoring wells as part of our borehole drilling activities in the siting communities to help us understand the geology and groundwater systems in the first 100 metres below the surface.
- Sampling of water from lakes and rivers, helps us to understand how water flows from watersheds into those bodies of water and how it and interacts with the surrounding environment
There will be continuous monitoring of the natural environment throughout all phases of the project, including open and transparent reporting and information sharing.
And, over the long term, watersheds and the surrounding environment will be protected by the multiple barrier system that will contain and isolate used nuclear fuel in the repository.
This project will be subject to a thorough regulatory review process, including an environmental assessment and a licensing review to ensure that it is implemented in a manner that protects people, the environment including local watersheds.
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