Researcher Visits Bruce County To Study Nuclear Waste Facility Siting Process

Inside the Western Waste Management Dry Storage Facility at the Bruce Power site near Kincardine, ON. (Photo by Craig Power, © 2016).

A University of Buffalo researcher is looking at Bruce County’s participation in Canada’s search for a home for high-level nuclear waste.

Marissa Bell says the Nuclear Waste Management Organization is taking a unique consent-based and adaptive approach to narrow down the possible sites, which include South Bruce and Huron Kinloss. Brockton and Central Huron have already been ruled out.

“The context of a nuclear community that is more familiar with nuclear energy and the nuclear industry is a unique case, and it is something that is still happening, so I can see as it’s unfolding,” she explains.

Bell says when she wraps up her research, she will share her findings with the local community.

She adds that one of the big questions is how consent will be measured. Local municipal councils currently make related decisions along with NWMO officials.

She is also looking at how community members are engaged in the process, and if everyone has a voice.

Her questions include how people feel about two possible nuclear waste repositories both in Bruce County.

Ontario Power Generation is awaiting final federal approval for a second Deep Geologic Repository in Bruce County to store low and medium level nuclear waste in Kincardine.

Bell is a Ph.D. Candidate of Geography at the University at Buffalo. You can contact her at

She hopes to complete her Thesis early in the fall of 2019.