Following the release of an interim report from NWMO to the Township of Nipigon, at the June 17th council meeting its was decided tht Nipigon will no longer be considered as a potential host community for the proposed deep geological repository for nuclear waste.
The interim report requested by Mayor Harvey at a previous council meeting has been sent to council and will be made available in the near future to the community.
A representative from NWMO gave a presentation on the interim report as follows.
“The interim results indicate that there are substantial geological uncertainties in the Nipigon area that reduce the likelihood of identifying sites that will satisfy NWMO’s geoscientific site evaluation factors. These uncertainties relate to the potential for lithological heterogeneity, the existence of both sills and dykes in the Nipigon area, and the proximity of the area to major fault zones.”
– Quote from Golder Associates Geological interim report.
What this means is that the areas being looked at are not understood geologically speaking at this time. With the geology being to complex and with little geological information available on the area it would not provide for a strong probability for favourable conditions set forth by the NWMO for site selection
“The interim results suggest that the APM Project may have some potential to be a fit for the community of Nipigon. The APM Project has the potential to bring positive net benefits to the community and may help the Township realize some of its aspirations and goals. These are related to population growth, growth in the workforce, access to education/training, and improvement in health and safety facilities and services. The
Project would also have positive effects on employment, income levels, business activity, municipal finances and infrastructure.
However there is some uncertainty, from the community’s perspective, as to whether the APM Project aligns with some values and aspirations of community members. There is uncertainty about whether the APM Project will disrupt community cohesion, despite the potential for the APM Project to enhance many social assets. There also appears to be substantial challenges to addressing misinformation about the Project in the area, and sustaining interest in learning about the Project that would be required for the community to make an informed decision in the future.”
– Quote from DPRA community well being assessment.
Although the community as a whole would receive positive effects from a deep geological repository, there is concern over the cohesion within the town regarding misinformation on the process and project within the town by a small group of individuals may be difficult in overcoming.
Since Nipigon was only in the educational phase, with misinformation on the process being spread throughout the community at such an early stage it would be very difficult to overcome the misinformation currently present within the town and he educational process would be greatly hindered.
During council question/answer session with the NWMO, Mayor Harvey asked if the current commitments from the NWMO would be met regardless of the outcome of the council resolution.
- On the commitment of continuing the emergency response geared NWMO meeting on June 25th the NWMO assured council that will go ahead as scheduled.
- The near future tour of nuclear waste storage at a nuclear plant in southern Ontario will also go ahead.
- An extensive community profile currently being compiled by the NWMO (at their expense) which has wide ranging application for any future industrial expansion in the Nipigon area will be compiled and provided to the township of Nipigon.
- Nipigon will still be eligible for an NWMO funded community wellness fund with absolutely no strings attached. (potential for $400K towards fund)
Resolution 118-2014 Township of Nipigon June 17, 2014
“Whereas the Township of Nipigon entered the Nuclear Waste Management Organization site selection process to better understand Canada’s plan for the long-term care of used nuclear fuel and to learn more about the potential benefits and challenges associated with this plan, and
Whereas the Township has requested and received from the NWMO an Interim Report regarding ongoing Phase One Preliminary Assessment work being conducted in the community, and
Whereas Nuclear Waste Management has indicated that mechanism will be in place for communities that withdraw from the site selection process as a potential host community to continue to be involved, and
Whereas the Interim Report suggests there is uncertainty from the community’s perspective, as to whether the APM project aligns with the values and aspirations of community members, and identifies substantial geological uncertainties which reduce the likelihood of identifying sites in the Nipigon area with potential to satisfy the required evaluation criteria, and
Whereas the Township of Nipigon believes it has sufficient information to make an informed decision about continued involvement in the site selection process as a potential host community,
Therefore be it resolved that while Nipigon desires to continue to be engaged and informed on a regional level, Nipigon requests that it no longer be considered in the site selection process as a potential host community,
And further, the Township requests that the NWMO provide updates on the site selection process as it unfolds.”