NWMO leaders have been visiting local municipal Councils in Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce to provide an update on the site selection process.
Vice-President of NWMO Site Selection, Mahrez Ben Belfadhel, explained that the company plans to work with communities and individuals toward partnership agreements to advance the site selection process for a potential repository.
“We will be working with landowners inorder to access land that will allow us to complete important studies in the area. The work could include environmental monitoring, borehole drilling and other site work such as indigenous cultural verification..”
NWMO is asking that landowners consider signing option agreements with the NWMO to allow site investigation and, if a site is potentially selected, to allow NWMO to purchase it.
NWMO is looking to access approximately 1,500 acres (600 hectares) from one or several landowners in the area. This would allow the space required for a repository but approximately only 250 acres would be used for surface facilities.
“The land access process is not an indication that the NWMO has selected the site,” added Belfadhel, “It’s simply about working with landowners, municipalities, Indigenous communities and others inthe area to determine we can identify and assemble an appropriate site that can be considered and be a foundation for a partnership agreement in the future. Option agreements with landowners will allow NWMO to gather sufficient lands to complete studies.
If requested by a landowner, NWMO will also consider immediate purchase on case-by-case basis.
Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce are not the only areas where the NWMO is working to access land and conduct site investigations. Similar work is also underway in the northern areas of Igance, Hornepayne and Manitouwadge. Land access in the northern communities is different however, as it is Crown land.
NWMO points out that it continues to engage the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON), other Indigenous communities and local municipalities, but the land access process is not an indication that they have provided support for the process or the siting of a repository. Canada’s plan will only be implemented with the involvement of municipalities, First Nation and Métis communities and others in the area.
Several more years of work are required before a single preferred site can be identified. For more information, visit: https://www.nwmo.ca/en/Site-selection/Study-Areas