South Bruce Council Encourages Residents to Participate in the NWMO Site Selection Process

Updated

South Bruce Council Encourages Residents to Participate in the NWMO Site Selection Process

As you may be aware, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) recently announced that South Bruce is one of two remaining communities being considered as a potential host for a deep geological repository to store Canada’s used nuclear fuel. The NWMO has entered into agreements with private landowners in South Bruce that provide sufficient access to land for the NWMO to study a potential deep geological repository location in South Bruce. 

The Municipality of South Bruce has been actively involved in the NWMO’s site selection process since 2012. As a community on the doorstep of the Bruce Power nuclear facility, the world’s largest operating nuclear power plant, it is essential that our community be aware of, and participate in, the plan for Canada’s used nuclear fuel. To further this goal, the Municipality formed the Community Liaison Committee (CLC) in 2013 with a mandate to engage, educate and listen to the community of South Bruce. Since 2013 the committee has participated in various learning opportunities which include CLC meetings, open houses, and briefings with local organizations only to name a few.  

At this time, no decision has been made to locate a deep geological repository in South Bruce. In the coming years, the NWMO plans to conduct detailed studies to confirm that any potential site is a safe, secure and suitable location for a deep geological repository. The NWMO has also committed that it will not proceed to locate the project in a community unless the community demonstrates that it is an informed and willing host. The NWMO is aiming to identify a single, preferred site to host the project, in an area with informed and willing hosts, by 2023.

Safety is obviously a priority and the project will not be implemented in any location that is not proven to be safe and environmentally sound. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is the federal regulator of nuclear power and materials in Canada. It is the responsibility of the CNSC to license, regulate and monitor Canada's radioactive waste management facilities to ensure they are operated safely. As with any other nuclear facility, the CNSC imposes rigorous approval and reporting requirements on the operators of nuclear waste management facilities and verifies that facilities comply with established safety requirements through inspections and audits.

Our community has an important decision to make on whether it is a willing host for this project. On behalf of Council, I invite the community to continue learning about Canada’s plan for the long-term care of our country’s used nuclear fuel and to actively participate in the decision. You can find more information about the project at www.nwmo.com and www.clcinfo.ca/southbruce or by visiting the Learn More Center on the main street of Teeswater. We also encourage you to attend future CLC meetings, Lunch and Learns events, and project briefings in the community. In the near future South Bruce will be hosting open houses for you to come to learn and express your views. Any member of the public may submit correspondence to the CLC or request to appear as a delegation before the CLC by contacting the committee’s coordinator at sbclc@southbruce.ca. If you seek clarification on any information you have received I encourage you to reach out to a CLC member or visit the Learn More Center. The NWMO also offers periodic free tours to the Western Waste Management Facility on the Bruce Power site where used nuclear fuel is currently stored and the NWMO Oakville Demonstration Facility where you can learn more about the extensive design, optimization and proof-testing program that the NWMO is undertaking.
  
South Bruce Council appreciates the participation we have received to date through the values and principal workshops and just recently the visioning workshops and hope that South Bruce residents will continue to participate in this important decision for our community.

Mayor Robert Buckle On behalf of South Bruce Council.