In 2017, after several years of progressively more detailed study and engagement, we concluded that Central Huron will not be considered a potential host for the project. The community is continuing to play a role, however, as activities continue in the nearby community of South Bruce.
Information detailing work we completed in the Central Huron area through steps one to three of the site selection process is available below.
Step 1: NWMO Initiates the Process
The process began with a broad program to provide information, answer questions and build awareness about the project. Awareness-building activities are designed to continue throughout the site selection process.
In Step 1, we provided general information to those who requested it. We began assessment activities in Step 2: Initial Screening only after individual communities formally expressed an interest in learning more.
Step 2: Initial Screening
In September 2012, Central Huron's Mayor and Council passed a resolution requesting an initial screening of the community's potential suitability to host the project. This screening took us about three months to complete and involved a review based on readily available information about the geology of the community and vicinity.
We encouraged communities that passed the initial screening to begin learning more about the project. We provided an initial briefing and invited representatives to take a tour of an interim storage facility for used nuclear fuel. We also encouraged communities to meet with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to learn about the regulatory framework that will govern the project.
Central Huron's initial screening was completed in February 2013. It did not identify any obvious conditions that would exclude the Central Huron area from further consideration in the site selection process.
Step 3: Phase 1 - Desktop Studies and Engagement
In July 2014, Central Huron's Mayor and Council passed a resolution asking the NWMO to initiate a Preliminary Assessment of the community‘s potential suitability to host the project.
In October 2015, we completed the first phase of Preliminary Assessment (Step 3: Phase 1) of the site selection process in collaboration with Central Huron.
This phase involved:
- Desktop studies that explore the potential to find a site that can safely and securely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel; and
- Community learning and dialogue activities to build understanding about the project and to explore its potential to align with the community's long-term vision.
Based on studies to date, Central Huron is assessed as having potential to meet strict safety and geotechnical requirements, and for the project to align with its long-term vision. The studies also identified a number of uncertainties to be further explored through more detailed study.
- Phase 1 Preliminary Assessment Summary Findings and Decisions Central Huron, Ontario
- Preliminary Assessment for Siting a Deep Geological Repository for Canada’s Used Nuclear Fuel Municipality Of Central Huron, Ontario Findings from Phase One Studies
- Draft Community Profile Municipality of Central Huron, Ontario
- Phase 1 Geoscientific Desktop Preliminary Assessment of Potential Suitability for Siting a Deep Geological Repository for Canada’s Used Nuclear Fuel Municipality of Central Huron, Ontario
- Phase 1 Geoscientific Desktop Preliminary Assessment, Terrain and Remote Sensing Study
- Phase 1 Geoscientific Desktop Preliminary Assessment, Processing and Interpretation of Borehole Geophysical Log and 2D Seismic Data
- Phase 1 Geoscientific Desktop Preliminary Assessment, Processing and Interpretation of Geophysical Data Municipality of Central Huron, Ontario
- Phase 1 Desktop Assessment, Environment Report, Municipality of Central Huron, Ontario
- Community Well-Being Assessment Municipality of Central Huron, Ontario
Step 3: Phase 2 - Field Studies and Engagement
In 2015, the NWMO began working with communities in this area to plan field studies and engagement as part of Preliminary Assessment (Step 3: Phase 2). Through fieldwork, more detailed studies and broadened engagement, Phase 2 assessments expanded upon work completed in Phase 1.
The focus of early geoscientific studies in Central Huron was to determine if the rock in the area has the potential to satisfy our safety requirements for a deep geological repository for the long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel.
Geoscientific studies conducted previously have involved desktop studies, which make use of publicly available information about the geology of the area. A next step in the process involves drilling one initial borehole in the area to further understand the general geology.
In 2017, it was determined this next phase of study for the area will instead focus on Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce. As a neighbour in the area, Central Huron will continue to play a role.