1. The NWMO and the accountable authorities in the community agree on how the work will proceed.
Preliminary assessments require that we and the community work in close partnership to support learning and reflection about the project and to ensure questions are addressed. Together with the community's Mayor and Council or Chief and Council, we come to agreement on how the first phase of work will proceed. This includes identifying:
- The work activities that will take place
- How we and the community will work together to involve citizens, surrounding communities and Aboriginal peoples
- The support (funding and resources) that will be provided to the community to participate as a partner in this work
2. Scientific and technical studies are conducted to further explore the potential suitability of the geology in the area.The initial screening conducted in Step 2 identified large areas in each community that are potentially suitable for hosting a deep geological repository. In Step 3: Phase 1, our staff, supported by contractors, conduct a detailed technical and scientific review of available information to further refine the findings from this initial screening. Through the application of additional site evaluation factors, smaller potentially suitable siting areas are identified.
This work includes detailed review and interpretation of the geoscientific characteristics of the candidate area, complemented by specific studies such as detailed review of available geological information, interpretation of available airborne geophysical surveys, and lineaments studies (faults and fractures).
The studies during this phase of work also consider key geoscientific characteristics and constraints that may be used to refine the siting areas. For example, constraints may include protected areas, geological setting, presence of natural resources, and so on.
In addition to scientific and technical studies used to further explore the suitability of geology in the area, preliminary studies are conducted to examine engineering, transportation, and environmental and safety considerations.