The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has signed more agreements with land owners in South Bruce.
Today, the NWMO shared a map showing the potential deep geological repository site in South Bruce, outlined next steps to confirm safety at the site, and made a commitment to protect property values in the area if it is selected to host a repository. South Bruce is one of two potential hosts in the site selection process for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel; the assessment process is also underway in the area around Ignace, Ontario.
Earlier this year, the NWMO announced it had signed agreements with landowners in South Bruce for 1,300 acres. Since then, the NWMO has secured just over 1,500 acres north of Teeswater, Ontario. The agreements include a combination of option and purchase arrangements that allow the NWMO to conduct studies while allowing landowners to continue using the land.
“This is an important milestone in South Bruce, and an expression of confidence in the project. We are thankful for the continued interest in our land access process, and know there is much more to do as we work toward assessing the potential suitability of the site,” said Dr. Mahrez Ben Belfadhel, Vice-President of Site Selection at the NWMO.
The milestone will allow important site assessment work to continue as the NWMO moves to identify a single, preferred location for a deep geological repository.
“We will begin preparatory work for two exploratory boreholes in the near-term, and expect to begin drilling the first in April, 2021. Discussions with local landowners in the vicinity of the potential site will continue over the coming months and years,” said Dr. Belfadhel.
Technical site evaluations, such as borehole drilling and environmental baseline monitoring, are key next steps for the site. At the same time, the NWMO will continue to seek input and address questions from residents through open houses, exhibits, meetings and other engagement activities.
“The plans announced today recognize and address concerns which have been raised in the South Bruce community” said South Bruce Mayor Robert Buckle. “I appreciate that the NWMO is demonstrating that they are working with the residents through this process.”
Of the total potential repository site, the NWMO requires 250 acres for facilities on the surface. The specific location of these facilities on the site has not yet been determined. The remainder will continue to be used as it is today.
“A key part of the agreements with local land owners is to support local economic activity by ensuring farming will continue to be the primary economic activity on the site,” said Dr. Belfadhel. “We’re committed to protecting the environment and farmland, while also minimizing disruption to local businesses.”