The agency that would give an operating licence to a proposed underground nuclear-waste storage facility will host two information forums next week in White River.

The town is one of the remaining Northern areas still considering the project despite protests from locals and First Nation groups.

Formerly the Atomic Energy Control Board, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission says it’s an “independent regulator” that “would only issue a licence (for a storage site) if it is safe to do so.”

The planned White River forums follows several other forums the commission has hosted in various Northern communities since 2010.

The commission is separate from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, which since 2002 has been searching for a suitable underground storage site for 50,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel bundles — enough to fill six hockey rinks up to the boards.

The proposed facility, which would go into service by 2035 at the earliest, is expected to create between 400 and 600 permanent jobs.

Manitouwadge, Hornepayne and Ignace also remain on the list of Ontario communities still willing to consider having the site on their turf, and have so far each received $400,000 for their trouble.

Receiving the money from the NWMO doesn’t mean the towns must accept a nuclear-waste storage site; they can spend the funds as they see fit for “community projects.”

This spring, a local White River citizens group staged a protest against the storage-site proposal.

Proponents “think we should do the noble thing and accept the waste for the good of the country, but I don’t want it here,” protest organizer Jennifer Jacques said at the time.

“We live up here for a reason. Everyone around traps, or goes hunting and fishing.”

White River Mayor Angelo Bazzoni earlier said he “encouraged the community to become involved as we learn together with the NWMO and our neighbours about the potential impacts of the project on our region if it were to be implemented here.”

NWMO is funded by Ontario Power Generation, NB Power Nuclear, Hydro-Quebec and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

The White River information forums to be hosted by the commission are to take place Oct. 14 at the town’s seniors’ club on Spruce Street.

The forums are set for 1-3:30 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.

As Posted: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 6:00 am | Updated: 6:00 am, Tue Oct 6, 2015 at

Town set for nuclear waste forums By Carl Clutchey, CJ staff |