Becky Smith Looks Forward to New Role with the NWMO

This is a photo of the NWMO’s Regional Communications Manager Becky Smith.

Becky Smith, Regional Communications Manager for the NWMO for Southwestern Ontario, is looking forward to meeting and working with residents of South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss areas.

 

Becky Smith has joined the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) as the Regional Communications Manager for Southwestern Ontario. She brings over 10 years of communications experience working with the federal government.

Becky was born and raised in Bruce County and brings a unique understanding of the local issues and priorities affecting both Bruce and Huron Counties, having supported the local Member of Parliament since 2008. She previously held a number of roles in the federal government for the Minister of the Environment.

“I’m excited to join the dynamic team of individuals at the NWMO,” she said. “I’m looking forward to building on the relationships I’ve made in the area over the last 10 years as I embrace the opportunity to engage and communicate with the local communities about Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.”

Becky completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Louisiana where she was a member of the Track and Field team. She currently resides in Saugeen Shores with her husband and two children.

Becky will be based out of the NWMO Learn More Centres in Ripley (48 Queen Street) and Teeswater (12B Clinton Street). Drop by and say “hello”. 

Community Workshops Provide Opportunities for Public Participation in South Bruce

This photo shows members of  the South Bruce Council and Community Liaison Committee, and members of the public at two tables discussing and considering values and principles to guide more detailed  conversations around partnership.

Members of South Bruce Council and South Bruce Community Liaison Committee and others, in attendance at a regular meeting of the CLC, participated in the first workshop to provide input into establishing a set of values and principles to lay the foundation for future discussions.

 

South Bruce residents were recently invited to consider the shared values and principles that will guide the community and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) as they engage in future discussions and decision-making about Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

South Bruce is one of several communities learning about the used fuel project and exploring the possibility of hosting the deep geological repository and Centre of Expertise, which are part of Canada’s plan. None of these communities have committed to hosting the project.

Community workshops held in South Bruce provided an opportunity for the public to consider what shared values and principles are needed to guide future detailed discussions about what it would mean if suitable geology was identified in the area and the community was willing to host the project.

“These shared values and principles are very important because they will set the groundwork for how South Bruce and the NWMO will talk with each other and make decisions together,” said, Jo-Ann Facella, NWMO’s Director of Community Well-Being, Assessment and Dialogue. “This work is key as we move forward to the next steps.”

Once the values and principles are established, the next step would be to begin detailed discussions around partnership – an important step as the project will only be implemented in an area with the involvement of the community, First Nation and Métis communities in the area and surrounding communities working together to implement it. Other discussions will include how the project could be configured to fit with South Bruce’s priorities and objectives, and what investments might be needed in the area to enhance well-being.

The municipality and the NWMO are continuing to seek ideas from community members. Those who could not attend a workshop but would like to provide their comments on proposed values and principles to guide future discussions are invited to visit the municipal office at 21 Gordon Street, Teeswater, or the NWMO Learn More Centre at 12B Clinton Street to gather information and provide comments until January 31.

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.

NWMO’s Learn More Centre

The NWMO’s Learn More Centre, located at 12B Clinton Street in Teeswater, has a new look with extensive resource materials.  Residents and visitors are encouraged to come in and check out the refurbished surroundings and chat about South Bruce’s involvement with Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

NWMO to Focus Field Studies on Fewer Communities

Generic image of documents on a table with people around it

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.