Published Friday, January 17, 2014 6:20PM EST
Canada’s most radioactive nuclear waste won’t be buried in two Bruce County municipalities.
Saugeen Shores and neighbouring Arran-Elderslie were both told by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) they don’t have the right geology to house two million used fuel bundles that once powered Canada’s nuclear fleet.
Twenty-one communities across Canada initially expressed interest in housing the underground facility a few years in and that’s now down to 14.
"We were all very pleased, a little bit of shock that the decision came at this time because we weren’t expecting it," says opponent Patrick Gibbons.
But reaction is mixed.
"Really it validates the process, I think. Disappointment? I really have no emotions…it worked out the way they said it was going to," says Mike Smith, Saugeen Shores mayor.
Smith says as much as he’d have liked the billions of dollars in investment and the hundreds of jobs, knowing they won’t house the facility ends division in the community.
"We had some people who were very opposed to the thought of burying this fuel here or even considering that, and there was some people that said ‘You know, I’m not too sure, but it’s worth a look,’" adds Smith
But Gibbons says the fight isn’t over. Three Bruce County municipalities remain in the running for the high-level facility.
"We also have Kincardine who is waiting for a decision about the proposed DGR for the low- and intermediate-level waste," he says.
A decision on the low- and intermediate-level waste facility is expected later this year and decisions on the high-level waste facility are still years away.
The NWMO hopes to have their remaining list of 14 communities down to two or three within the next couple years, but a final choice may still be a decade away.
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