Borehole drilling ends in DGR research

NWMO's second borehole site.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization has finished a deep borehole drilling program, part of site investigations in two Ontario locations including the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area.

The other is the Wabigoon-Ignace in area in northern Ontario.

Scientists have been studying the geology in the two areas for a decade.

In a release, the NWMO states borehole drilling and testing up to 1,000 metres below the surface is part of the broader site investigation work to ensure the site will meet stringent regulatory requirements. Eight kilometres worth of core samples were pulled during the studies.

“Deep geological repositories are internationally recognized as the safest way to manage used nuclear fuel over the very long term,” said Lise Morton, Vice-President of Site Selection at the NWMO. “Completion of this drilling program is a significant step forward in our geoscience work. In addition to informing the safety case for the project, the resulting data will also provide important insights to the communities that are considering hosting the project in their area.”

Canada’s plan calls for centralized containment and isolation of Canada’s used nuclear fuel in suitable rock formation in an area with informed and willing hosts. The community-driven siting process launched in 2010, and by 2012, 22 communities had expressed interest in learning about the project and exploring their potential to host it.

The NWMO is expected to finalize the site selection in 2023.