The focus of geoscientific studies in South Bruce is to determine if the geosphere in the area has the potential to satisfy the safety requirements for a deep geological repository for the long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel.
Geoscientific studies conducted to date involved desktop studies, which make use of publicly available information about the geology of the area.
In May 2019, the NWMO launched a Land Access Process and worked with local landowners in South Bruce to determine if a possible site could be identified in the area. In January 2020, the NWMO signed agreements with landowners in South Bruce that will allow access to land for studies at the potential repository site northwest of Teeswater, Ontario.
In October 2020, the NWMO signed additional agreements with landowners in South Bruce and announced the organization was beginning plan for two exploratory boreholes to confirm understanding of geology at the site. Drilling is planned to begin in 2021.
As part of drilling best practices, the NWMO will test
private water wells at and near the borehole sites.
The NWMO will work together with people in the area to plan the next set of activities. The NWMO will share the location of boreholes we will drill to help advance understanding of the geology at the potential repository site. We also plan to provide opportunities for interested residents to observe drilling activities to learn about the project.
Once borehole testing is complete the NWMO will review findings with people in the area and reflect on whether or not to continue with further studies.
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.