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NWMO releases safety reports for potential siting areas for used nuclear fuel

by CM Staff   

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They plan to build the repository more than 500 metres underground and surrounded by a natural shield of solid rock.

TORONTO — The Nuclear Waste Management Organization has published Confidence in Safety reports for each of the two potential sites it is considering to host a deep geological repository to store Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

The reports are based on years of research and fieldwork. They summarize the NWMO’s understanding of each siting area, including geological characteristics that indicate the sites can contain and isolate used nuclear fuel to protect people and the environment. After a site is selected, the NWMO will perform additional studies to further inform the repository design and long-term safety case.

“Safety is our highest priority. It drives everything we do, from project design, engineering and environmental research to interweaving Indigenous Knowledge into our work and engaging with communities,” said Laurie Swami, NWMO president and CEO in a statement.

“These reports are the products of years of careful study by our science and engineering teams. They mark a major achievement in the site selection process that launched more than a decade ago.”


The planned underground repository is part of Canada’s plan to manage the resulting used nuclear fuel over the long term. They plan to build the repository more than 500 metres underground and surrounded by a natural shield of solid rock. The NWMO says its design uses a series of additional engineered barriers to ensure the facility’s integrity for thousands of years.

In 2010, the NWMO launched the process for selecting a site for the repository. A total of 22 communities expressed interest in learning about the project and exploring their potential to host it. Following years of technical assessment and community engagement, two potential sites remain in the process: one in the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the other in the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.


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