Phase 2 assessments are conducted with communities and areas identified in Step 3: Phase 1 - Desktop Studies and Engagement as warranting further study. These assessments expand upon the work completed in the previous phase. We will work with interested communities, First Nation and Métis communities in the area, and surrounding municipalities to explore the suitability of an area through fieldwork, more detailed studies, and broadened engagement.

Field Activities

Field activities build on earlier work and occur in sequence:

  • Initial field studies: Geophysical surveys, environmental surveys, and geological mapping are undertaken to further assess potential suitability and identify smaller areas that have the potential to meet the technical site evaluation factors.
  • Intensive fieldwork phase: This phase involves more detailed studies that focus on potential repository sites within an area.

Engagement Activities

Beyond ensuring safety, we have committed that long-term well-being or quality of life will be fostered in areas participating in the project. Broadened engagement with the community, First Nation and Métis communities in the area, and surrounding municipalities will support more detailed reflection and assessment.

Activities in this phase help develop a more detailed understanding of project benefits, opportunities to work together, and how potential negative effects of the project can be managed. We will need to develop a better and more detailed understanding of the project’s potential to align with local priorities, objectives, and aspirations. Detailed study will continue in this phase to understand specific economic contributions the project would make to area well-being, the social and economic pressures that would occur, and what advance planning is required to address these pressures.

The site selection process requires sustained interest in learning and participation from communities over an extended period. Phase 2 involves more intensive community learning and engagement designed to explore whether conditions can be fostered to advance study in the area.

How Long Will It Take?

By design, we have not set schedules or deadlines for this process. The pace and manner at which we move forward will be shaped by the communities involved and the time needed to complete the rigorous process of confirming safety.

To guide project planning, we have made assumptions about timing associated with the work we need to complete. Our current plans anticipate that Phase 2 assessments could be completed around 2022, guiding selection of a preferred site in 2023. We will continue to update our best understanding of possible timelines as work advances and more information becomes available.

Not all communities will necessarily complete the full sequence of Phase 2 activities. Through regular stock-taking as studies progress, there may be a gradual narrowing to focus on sites with strong potential to be suitable for hosting a repository. Communities may withdraw at any point during these studies.

How Are the Findings Used?

Findings from Phase 2 assessments will guide our identification of a preferred location to be the focus of detailed site evaluations in Step 4 of the site selection process.