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Nipigon Investigating becoming a Nuclear Waste Host Community

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NIPIGON, ON -----   November 13, 2011  ---   At its November 8 meeting, Nipigon’s Town Council passed a resolution Nipigon, Ontarioexpressing interest in continuing to learn more about the Adaptive Phased Management plan for nuclear waste disposal.  Nipigon’s expression of interest will provide residents with information about Canada’s plan for managing used nuclear fuel and the steps in the process for identifying a host community.

“Ultimately, any decision about nuclear waste must be made by the people of the communities that are impacted.” said Nipigon’s Mayor Richard Harvey. “It is of the utmost importance that Nipigon and surrounding communities be fully informed about Adaptive Phase Management so that we can make good decisions”

Council’s resolution also requested an ‘initial screening’ of the potential suitability of Nipigon against readily available information. The screening, undertaken by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is expected to take between 2 and 3 months to complete. All costs are paid for by the NWMO.

By expressing interest, Nipigon’s Council is gathering information to assist in making informed decisions about the site assessment process. It is hoped that residents will learn about the long term management of used nuclear fuel through the ‘learn more’ process offered by the NWMO and share their thoughts with Council to help guide in decision making. This expression of interest does not commit Council, or the Township to any future steps in the process.

Ultimately, there will have to be a compelling demonstration of willingness expressed by the citizens of any interested community after a long period of site assessment, and learning about the project, before a preferred host site is selected.

Township of Nipigon representatives visited Toronto recently to meet with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to learn about Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel.  The ‘learn more’ opportunity, funded by the NWMO, included a detailed briefing by NWMO staff, and a tour of the Pickering Waste Management Facility at the Pickering Nuclear Power Development, where used nuclear fuel is safely stored on an interim basis.

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