The community of Wawa entered the site selection process by formally expressing interest in learning about the project in 2011. This expression of interest triggered studies in and around Wawa to explore the potential suitability of geology in the area while the community learned more about the project and reflected on its interest in it.

As we completed early studies in the area, First Nation and Métis communities in the area, as well as surrounding communities, also became a focus of engagement activities. We have committed to only implementing the project in an area with the involvement of the community that expressed interest, First Nation and Métis communities, and surrounding communities working together to implement it.

In 2013, after several years of progressively more detailed study and engagement, we concluded studies in the area during the first phase of Preliminary Assessment (Step 3: Phase 1).

In light of study findings, the Wawa area is no longer a focus of study in the site selection process.

Information detailing assessment work we completed in the Wawa area through steps one to three of the site selection process are contained 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 May 2011, Wawa’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 area and its geology.

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.

Wawa's initial screening was completed in October 2011. It did not identify any obvious conditions that would exclude the Wawa area from further consideration in the site selection process.

Step 3: Phase 1 - Desktop Studies and Engagement

In December 2011, Wawa'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 November 2013, we completed the first phase of Preliminary Assessment (Step 3: Phase 1) of the site selection process in collaboration with Wawa.

This phase involved:
  • Desktop studies that explored 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, the community was not identified for further study.

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