The focus of early geoscientific studies is to determine if there are rock units in the area that have 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 to date have involved desktop studies, airborne geophysical surveys, observing general geological features, detailed geological mapping, and beginning to drill boreholes in a potential repository location. Through discussion with people in the area about a number of potentially geologically suitable areas, the NWMO has identified the general location for initial boreholes. It is located in a rock formation known as the Revell Batholith.
Depending on findings, additional borehole drilling and testing in one or more locations may be warranted.
Selecting locations for these boreholes provides an opportunity for the NWMO, the interested community, and First Nation and Métis communities in the area to work together to consider where the project might best fit. Once borehole locations are identified, the NWMO must submit an application to the provincial government for permission to drill. Assembling a permission application is one activity among many designed to help advance the NWMO’s understanding of the perspectives of people in the area about the project. Engagement and dialogue continue.
Ultimately, the preferred site will need to meet robust technical requirements focused on safety. The implementation of the project must also foster the well-being of the area as defined by people who live there, and will need to be supported by strong partnerships. The project can only proceed with the involvement of the interested community, First Nation and Métis communities in the area, and surrounding communities.