One more community has been dropped from the running to become the homes of Canada’s high-level nuclear waste.
But two others have completed another stage, leaving 13 communities in the running – 12 of them in Ontario and one in Saskatchewan.
Brockton, which includes the towns of Walkerton and Hanover, has been dropped from the list of sites being considered by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO).
But the NWMO will do further research in two other Bruce county communities — Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce.
That means fieldwork will begin on assessing whether the geology in the two areas is suitable for a long-lived nuclear waste site.
Preliminary work in the two rural communities has determined both have “strong potential to meet site selection requirements,” the NWMO said in a release.
It is looking for a place to entomb the spent fuel from Canada’s nuclear reactors — fuel that remains dangerously radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years, and must be shielded from the environment.
Each of the three communities will receive $400,000 from the NWMO for showing leadership in dealing with the radioactive waste.
All are still in the early part of a multi-stage process to come up with a permanent disposal site for nuclear waste.
Mayors of the Bruce County municipalities of South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss both said in interviews that their communities haven’t taken a final position on whether they’d accept a waste site, even if the geology is found to be suitable.
Much of the nuclear waste is already being stored on the surface in Bruce County, at the Bruce nuclear station, said Mayor Robert Buckle of South Bruce.
“We have to learn as much as we can because of the benefits that we could have by having the deep dig thing here,” said Buckle.
“And we also have to learn what the hazards are. We have no choice but to proceed on farther, to see what it is all about.”
Mayor Mitch Twolan of Huron-Kinloss said a community liaison committee is already hard at work on the issue in his township.
He, too, said his community has no position on whether it ultimately wants the waste site.
“We haven’t even got to that point,” he said.
He said there’s been little public turnout so far at meetings of the community liaison committee: “We’re getting the same three or four people out.”
Wind turbines are a far livelier issue, he said: “There isn’t a day goes by as mayor that I’m not talking about wind turbines.”