TORONTO – The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has updated the terminology they are using regarding the remaining sites being considered for the deep geological repository (DGR).
The potential site near Teeswater is now referred to as SON-South Bruce (Saugeen Ojibway Nation) and the potential site near Ignace as Wabigoon-Ignace.
NWMO Communications person Bruce Logan told the Wingham Advance Times that this is essentially a “new naming convention established by our leadership which expressly acknowledges and recognizes the traditional territories for our sighting areas.
“This is a very meaningful update which you will have first seen a few weeks ago in our annual report. I have used this language to update our releases.”
Logan referred to the recently released NWMO 2021 Annual Report, which can be viewed at NWMO.ca.
Key highlights that include “how the organization has continued to travel a path together with Indigenous peoples on the journey towards Reconciliation, including rolling out additional staff training and educational opportunities, as well as interweaving insights from Indigenous Knowledge throughout the NWMO’s work.”
Logan said, “This is an important update and underscores the NWMO’s ongoing commitment to respect and understanding for First Nations communities, and the importance we place in recognizing their traditional territories. In the case of South Bruce, the NWMO is actively working with both the SON and the municipality with respect to considering this infrastructure program as informed and willing hosts.”
The Wingham Advance Times reached out to SON for comment but did not hear back before press time.
The NWMO published their 2021 annual report, Guided by science. The report highlights the NWMO’s activities throughout the year as they implement Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.
The report also provides an audited update on the organization’s finances. In accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act, the report was submitted to Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson on March 28.
The NWMO’s next steps for the borehole sites, including how their engineering team is gearing up for “full-scale emplacement trials in 2022 that will simulate conditions in the deep geological repository.”
These trials include prototyping and testing the innovative engineered-barrier system.
A report on the NWMO’s website said, “In addition to the annual report, the NWMO has also released our five-year implementation plan – Implementing Adaptive Phased Management 2022 to 2026 – a living document that outlines our activities for the next five years. Learn more about that report and fill out the online survey that accompanies it as your feedback is essential to the NWMO’s work.”
Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times