The community of Central Huron initiated its involvement in the site selection process by formally expressing interest in learning about the project in 2012. This expression of interest triggered studies to explore the potential suitability of its geology while the community learned more about the project and reflected on its interest in it.

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 communities of Huron-Kinloss and 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 NWMO formally initiated the site selection process in May 2010.

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.

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. 

News and Activities

We have established Learn More offices to help facilitate learning in the areas involved in the site selection process.