Two sites in Bruce County, Ontario have ‘strong potential’ to meet the site selection requirements for a Canadian nuclear waste repository while thee others has been ruled out.
Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) announced in December that it has completed the first phase of preliminary assessment for three communities in Bruce County, Ontario that had expressed interest in learning about Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.
The municipality of South Bruce and the township of Huron-Kinloss were both assessed as having strong potential to meet site selection requirements and have been identified for further study, NWMO said. The municipality of Brockton was not selected to be the focus of more detailed study.
Assessment findings shared with communities of Arran-Elderslie and Saugeen Shores in January 2014 also ruled out those two sites for further study.
NWMO has recognised the significant contributions of all five Bruce County communities that participated in the process by providing $400,000 to each upon establishment of a Community Well-Being Reserve Fund.
"Each of these communities has helped design and lead dialogues to ensure important questions about safety are asked and learning continues," said Kathryn Shaver, vice-president of APM Engagement and Site Selection at the NWMO.
NWMO stressed that the preliminary findings to date do not confirm technical suitability and safety of any site, and at this early point in the process no community is being asked to confirm its willingness to host the project. It is expected to take ‘several more years’ to complete the studies needed to identify a preferred site and an informed and willing host.
"As we prepare for increasingly detailed field studies and engagement, we need to narrow our focus to areas with strong potential for meeting strict safety requirements and for the project to align with the community’s long-term vision," Shaver added.
Work is ongoing in 11 other Ontario and Saskatchewan communities involved in the site selection process. One site in Saskatchewan and three in Ontario have already begun Phase 2 studies and Phase 1 assessments are underway at seven sites in Ontario.