Rachelle Davenport and Chantelle Gascon of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) in Ignace, Dryden’s neighboring community brought the club up-to-date on the NWMO’s site selection progress for that community.
First, however they provided an explanation of what nuclear waste is and what the containers that the waste product is put into looks like.
Finland is the most developed of the countries planning to isolate the waste by-product of their nuclear fuel cycle in a deep geological repository.
In Canada, the NWMO began in 2002 as a creation of the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act.  NWMO’s desire is to have a prepared site chosen by 2023 (project timeline is 2019 to 2023) with the opening of a Centre of Expertise at or near the chosen site in 2024.
 NWMO is committed to working in partnership with local Municipalities, First Nations, and Metis. in the short-listed five current sites down from the original twenty-two identified:  Ignace and Ares, Hornepayne and Area, Manitouwadge and Area, Huron-Kinloss, and South Bruce.
The three key selection criteria for each site are: safety, transportation (the main concern here is safety) and partnerships.
The Ignace site has completed the following components:
  • deep borehole drilling;
  • monitoring;
  • working with indigenous groups;
  • developing a reconciliation policy and statement;
  • environmental monitoring;
  • engaging cultural monitors in on-site fieldwork phases;
  • advancing engineering designs
The Ignace depository would be situated on crown land making the study process a bit different from some of the other areas. Geologically the site is located at the Revell Batholith just off Highway 17 between Ignace and Wabigoon Lake First Nations. A safe transportation route with a capability to move used nuclear fuel from interim storage facilities in Canada to the repository site is paramount.
By doing presentations for local groups Davenport and Gascon are developing partnerships through communicating what is envisioned, engagement in the process, and keeping each community connected with completed studies. Their goal is to ensure the long-term well-being of the area by considering its long-term interests. The main considerations are the resources (social, economic and environmental) of the community and how the project may affect them.
To date they have gained local support from the Town of Ignace, Wabigoon Lake First Nations, the City of Dryden, and the village of Dinorwic.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization can be followed at:
See also