Schreiber’s mayor said he isn’t prepared to have his community commit to hosting a nuclear disposal facility until they know it’s safe.
The town of Schreiber moved to Stage 3 for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization's site selection process. Schreiber city council passed the motion to move forward on Dec. 13. The NWMO will now perform feasibility studies to determine whether Schreiber’s geology meets the detailed requirements for the repository.
The billion-dollar project would provide thousands of construction jobs, as well as 300 permanent jobs for the community and surrounding area.
But Mayor Don McArthur said unless the safety of such a facility can be assured for both the environment and residents, he wouldn’t be interested in pursuing the project.
“We have to determine if this will be a safe site,” McArthur said.
“We haven’t decided if we do want this. At this point we’re investigating whether it’s feasible, whether it would be a safe proposition both for the environment and the people of Schreiber as well as Northwestern Ontario. We’re still learning more. On the economic side, it is a huge infrastructure project. “
McArthur said he felt optimistic that they would have an answer by 2013 or early 2014.
In the meantime, McArthur said they will hold open houses to keep the community informed and up-to-date on what is happening.
“Sometime in 2013 or early 2014 we’d be able to sit down as a community and make that decision if it would be something that we would want to pursue,” he said.
“Should it come up in the meantime that we’re not suitable, the question will never have to be asked.”