GODERICH – The Municipality of Central Huron will know early in the new year whether it’s in the running to host the nation’s high-level nuclear waste.

An initial screening is currently under way by a consulting firm hired by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization to see if there’s any reason the municipality’s 450 square km of land aren’t suitable for development of a 250-acre site where the spent nuclear fuel cells from reactors across the country could be stored underground.

“The reason for it is to see if there are any show-stoppers, any reason the community shouldn’t continue in the process,” said Michael Kritanc, who is NWMO’s communications manager. A trio of representatives from NWMO made a one-hour presentation to the municipality’s council last night.

He expects the initial screening will be complete by year end, with a report to council early in 2013. A community open house will be held shortly after.

The municipality can withdraw from the process at any time.

The five high-level criteria include: sufficient land to host the facility, land that’s outside of protected areas, such as heritage sites; land that doesn’t contain known groundwater resources used for drinking, agriculture or industrial uses; land that doesn’t contain natural resources; and land that doesn’t have geological or hydrogeological features that would make development of a facility unsafe.

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