Blind River, Elliot Lake and Area No Longer Part of Site Selection

The image shows the NWMO
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) will focus efforts on fewer areas in the site selection process for a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel. The area around Blind River and Elliot Lake, Ontario, will no longer be considered to host the project. Studies are continuing in the vicinity of five other communities, including Ignace, Manitouwadge, Hornepayne, South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss, Ontario, from the original 22 that expressed interest in participating. 

Technical studies and engagement with people in the area identified a number of factors that would pose challenges in siting a repository. These include complexities associated with the geology, limited access and rugged terrain, and low potential to develop the breadth of partnerships needed to implement the project.  

“We are grateful to have worked with communities in this area and for the outstanding leadership they have shown on behalf of all Canadians through their involvement in this process,” said Dr. Mahrez Ben Belfadhel, Vice President of Site Selection. “The decision to narrow our focus is part of an ongoing, rigorous process to identify a single, safe site in an area with an informed and willing host and strong potential for the partnerships that will be required to implement the project.” 

In recognition of their leadership, the municipal and First Nation communities that led siting activities in the area will be eligible for funding to support investments in community sustainability and well-being. Blind River, Elliot Lake and Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation will receive $600,000. The neighbouring communities of Spanish and The North Shore will receive $300,000. The contributions will be made to their community well-being reserve funds. 

Since 2010, the NWMO has been engaged in a multi-year, community-driven process to identify a preferred site for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel. The NWMO expects to be in a position to select a preferred site by about 2023.  

News Release: NWMO to Focus Field Studies on Fewer Communities

No more geological studies planned in Central Huron and White River, both to continue to play a role


TORONTO, June 23, 2017 –The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is narrowing its focus to fewer communities as it prepares to further advance the next set of activities in the selection process for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

The Municipality of Central Huron and the Township of White River will no longer be considered a potential host for the project. Both will continue to play a role as activities continue in nearby communities of Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce in the southwest, and to the northwest in the vicinity of Hornepayne and Manitouwadge

“As we work toward identifying a single preferred site, we need to increasingly focus on specific locations that have strong potential to meet safety requirements and a foundation for sustained interest in exploring the project,” said Dr. Mahrez Ben Belfadhel, Vice-President of Site Selection. “Central Huron and White River have each made a significant contribution on behalf of Canadians to this project, and their continued leadership will be invaluable as we work together to plan next steps in their regions.” 

The next activities in the areas of Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce; and Hornepayne and Manitouwadge will involve planning for more geological studies and initial discussions about visioning and partnership. Regional engagement will continue, as the project will only proceed with interested communities, potentially affected First Nation and Métis communities, and surrounding communities working in partnership to implement it.

Studies continue in areas around Ignace, Blind River and Elliot Lake, Ontario, which are also engaged in the process for siting the national infrastructure project. Ongoing field activities and engagement with municipal, First Nation and Métis communities in those regions are not affected by today’s decision.

The NWMO will continue the process of narrowing down potential sites to host the project until it arrives at one preferred safe and socially acceptable site as the focus of more detailed site characterization. The preferred site must have a suitable rock formation in an area with an informed and willing host.

About the NWMO

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is implementing Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The organization was created in 2002 by Canada’s nuclear electricity producers. Ontario Power Generation Inc., NB Power Nuclear and Hydro-Québec are the founding members, and along with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, fund the NWMO’s operations. The NWMO operates on a not-for-profit basis and derives its mandate from the Federal Nuclear Fuel Waste Act.


For More Information 

Central Huron, South Bruce, Huron-Kinloss:
Marie Wilson

Hornepayne, Manitouwadge, White River:
Pat Dolcetti

Blind River, Elliot Lake:
Mike Krizanc

Lisa Frizzell

NWMO explores new website with Hornepayne NWCLC


The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) showcased its new website to the Hornepayne Nuclear Waste Community Liaison Committee (NWCLC) at its May meeting. The goal was to explain how the new site works and how it can support the NWCLC in their efforts to support learning in the community.

“We have a responsibility to inform the public about Canada’s plan for used nuclear fuel. The new website is a tool that will help ensure people have access to information about us and the work underway in their areas,” said Michelle Dassinger, Digital Communications Program Manager with the NWMO.

In the presentation Ms. Dassinger explained to committee members that changing technology is a key reason the old website needed to be refreshed.

“Our research told us people found the old website difficult to navigate, and the information available there was often complex and hard to digest,” said Ms. Dassinger. “With input from website visitors, we designed the new site to be more user-friendly and easy to navigate. We also simplified content to make it easier to read.”


The new site is mobile and tablet friendly and complies with the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). That means people with disabilities have the same user-experience when they land at The website also makes it easier to share content on social media.

The site features new Study Area pages that make it easy for residents to find information about the work being done in their areas. For this area, you can find news and other materials on the Hornepayne and Area page.

The new design features a questions and answer section called You Asked Us, where you can find information about a variety of topics. It also includes a section where people can search a comprehensive list of reports.