Selecting a site

The NWMO is moving forward with assessing suitability of proposed site for a deep geological repository

Man walking in field

The NWMO and Geofirma explore potential borehole locations in South Bruce.

June 30, 2020

South Bruce, Ont.

By the NWMO

Man walking in field

The NWMO and Geofirma explore potential borehole locations in South Bruce.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization has selected an Ontario-based environmental and engineering company to drill and test initial boreholes in South Bruce. 

Geofirma Engineering Ltd will conduct the initial borehole drilling and testing activities in South Bruce. Borehole drilling and testing work is part of the NWMO’s site assessment program, as we seek to further build our understanding of the geosphere at the potential repository site. 

“Geofirma has extensive experience in characterizing low-permeability bedrock and brings proven expertise in borehole drilling and testing in South Bruce,” said Sean Sterling, Vice President, Principal Hydrogeologist/Engineer at Geofirma Engineering Ltd. “This is an important project and we’re pleased to work with the NWMO. The data and information we will gather will help form an in-depth understanding of the area geosphere while providing opportunities for local support services.” 

Geofirma will be contacting area businesses to source needed supplies and materials for the upcoming field program. Site preparation work, followed by borehole drilling, coring and testing, is expected to begin this fall.

“It is great to see NWMO committing to support our local businesses.  South Bruce and the surrounding area are home to some fantastic service providers who are pleased to provide services and supplies to NWMO and its partners,” said Adam Ireland, Vice President of the South Bruce Community and Business Association.  “A great example has been set by the nuclear industry in supporting the local area businesses, and it is very important to our business owners to see the same leadership by NWMO and its contractors such as Geofirma as the community continues to learn more about the deep geological repository project.”

Geofirma Engineering Ltd is a Canadian, employee-owned consulting company, that provides a full range of engineering and environmental services with specialized expertise in deep bedrock hydrogeological characterization. 

“We’re looking forward to working with Geofirma for our initial borehole drilling and testing program in South Bruce. Geofirma has a strong track record of delivering high quality, robust, defensible data sets.  The data acquired will build on NWMO’s understanding of the geosphere and will be used in determining if the potential repository site can safety host a deep geological repository,’ said Sarah Hirschorn, Director of Geoscience at the NWMO.
About the NWMO

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.

Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.
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the NWMO

The NWMO is a not-for profit organization established in 2002 by Canada's nuclear electricity producers in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA).

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