The Municipality of Wawa, Ont. is the sixth community in Northwestern Ontario to enter the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s (NWMO) Adaptive Phase Management (APM) process.
The community’s initial screening report is complete, putting the municipality into Step two of the process of selecting a site for Canada’s deep geological depository for used uranium fuel, said Mike Krizanc, communications manager for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), in an interview with The Northerner.
Saugeen Shores and Brockton, both communities on Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula, which are close to the Bruce Nuclear Power plant, have had a briefing on the APM, but have not passed the municipal resolution asking for an initial screening, which is necessary to enter the process formally. The initial screening is Step Two of the process and “that really gets you into the process.” A briefing is getting the information on the process. “It’s us going out and letting people know what we are doing. We don’t consider them into the process until they pass a resolution asking for an initial screening.”
ELNOS, the Elliot Lake and North Shore Corporation for Business Development, acting on behalf of its members, is also looking into the APM process. ELNOS is made up of the Corporation of the City of Elliot Lake, the Town of Blind River, the Town of Spanish, the Township of the North Shore, and the Serpent River First Nation.
“Those communities have asked ELNOS to look into the APM … They are not applying as individual municipalities.”
Three of the municipalities, the Town of Blind River, the Corporation for the City of Elliot Lake and the Township of the North Shore, passed the necessary resolution to enter the APM process. “ELNOS staff came down (to Toronto) for a tour and briefing, but have not taken action as yet.”
The first communities to enter the APM process were from northwestern Ontario, ELNOS is in northeastern Ontario and the Bruce Peninsula is considered southern Ontario, Krizanc said. “The other thing, the Bruce Peninsula is actually sedimentary rock and all of the others are granite.” The granite is in the Canadian Shield.
One community, Ignace, in northwestern Ontario, has moved forward to Step Three, which is a feasibility study. It “takes one to two years to complete and is a much more detailed look at existing geological information and the social and economic concerns of the community.”
Three Saskatchewan communities are currently involved in the process: Pinehouse Lake, English River First Nation and Creighton. The northwestern Ontario communities are: Ignace, Red Rock, Schreiber, Hornpayne, Ear Falls and Wawa. No communities have dropped out of the process so far
Valerie G. Barnes-Connell, The Northerner, Town of Laronte, Saskatchewan