Construction begins on NWMO borehole plans

There are plans to drill two deep boreholes in the Municipality of South Bruce as the Nuclear Waste Management Organization continues with its site test planning for a DGR that would contain and isolate used nuclear fuel.

The first borehole drilling will take place in the spring of 2021. That will be along Concession 8 and the first drill pad and access to the site is being built. The second drilling will also take place on Concession 8.

In a relase, the NWMO says borehole drilling, along with coring and testing, is part of the technical site evaluation work to build an understanding of the rock and water around the area, also known as geosphere.

There are some pre-drilling activities that are underway or have been completed and they include an environmental due diligence walkover, a survey of the features of the surface of the land an archeological survey, cultural verification, and a pre-drilling private drinking water well survey.

South Bruce is one of two areas currently involved in the NWMO’s site selection process for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

The other is the area west of the Township of Ignace, in northwestern Ontario.

“This drilling schedule will allow time to continue engagement with local municipal and Indigenous communities on field activities, and to undertake preparatory work in advance of drilling,” said Geoff Crann, Manager, Site Services at the NWMO.

In addition to borehole drilling, the NWMO is planning more field activities in 2021 in order to further characterize the geology of the potential site. This includes activities such as installing micro-seismic monitoring stations across the region, installing shallow groundwater monitoring wells to further study water in the area, and conducting geophysical studies.

The NWMO is continuing with engagement activities in the area through virtual and physically distant in-person open houses, webinars and the Learn More Centre to ensure residents have lots of opportunities to learn more about the project and the NWMO’s upcoming work.