The NWMO is responsible for implementing Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel in a manner that safeguards people and respects the environment, now and in the future. We are committed to meeting or exceeding all applicable regulatory standards and requirements for protecting the health, safety, and security of people and the environment.
In South Bruce, that also includes continued success and sustainability in agriculture and protection of our water resources. There cannot be any credible risk to people and the environment for the project to move forward.
Below are commonly asked questions from the agricultural community. Click here to view more commonly asked questions on other topics. You can also view our reports here.
Will a deep geological repository in South Bruce affect the agricultural community?
Canadian farmers have for decades safely farmed near nuclear facilities. Their crops and livestock are routinely monitored by partners and federal agencies such as the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. There have been no adverse effects to their land or agricultural products.
The NWMO will work closely with the agricultural community to ensure the deep geological repository project will have added value to the agricultural sector, and to find opportunities to support and promote Ontario agriculture crops and products.
Will farming be able to continue in the area around the deep geological repository?
The deep geological repository is designed to be safe, and we expect much of the land directly above will remain productive farmland. Approximately 250 acres of the overall 1,500-acre site will be taken up by surface facilities to support the placement of used fuel underground. The remainder of the 1,500-acre site can continue to be used for agricultural production. Once the surface facilities have been closed and decommissioned, the remaining land can be returned to agricultural activities.
Will the project impact property values in South Bruce?
As responsible landowners, the NWMO is committed to develop, in consultation with the Municipality of South Bruce, a program to provide financial compensation to property owners if property values are adversely affected by the project. The property value protection program will be developed through a series of well-being studies that we plan to complete with the involvement of the community in 2022.
How will the NWMO protect people, the environment, farmland, and local watersheds?
The NWMO is using best environmental practices to ensure the project is implemented in a way that protects people, agricultural lands and sensitive environmental areas such as watersheds and sensitive ecological environments.
We are partnering with landowners, conservation authorities and other interested organizations to lead baseline and research studies to understand the natural ecological system in the area, including surface water, groundwater, soil, air, wetlands, and animals and species at risk. These studies will inform our work as we mitigate or eliminate potential adverse impacts of the project using technologies and operational best practices.
There will be a continuous monitoring of the natural environment throughout all phases of the project, including open and transparent reporting and information sharing.
This project will also be subject to a thorough regulatory review process, including an environmental assessment and a licensing review to ensure that it is implemented in a manner that protects people and the environment. In our planning timelines, we are currently anticipating that the regulatory review process will take approximately 10 years.
How are you engaging the agricultural community in South Bruce?
The NWMO is working with farmers to ensure the agricultural character of the region is preserved in our long-term plans.
We are working with South Bruce and agricultural partners to develop health, environmental, production, and market studies with trusted third-party experts to provide fact-based responses to questions and concerns we have heard in the community.