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On-site work on nuclear waste disposal in NW Ontario suspended

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization says other work will continue.
Borehole drilling Ignace
Six boreholes are being drilled in the Precambrian Shield, between Ignace and Wabigoon Lake First Nation (NWMO photo)

IGNACE, Ont. — The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting research into the potential for Northwestern Ontario to host a nuclear waste disposal site.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization says it has suspended technical site evaluations in the Ignace area.

That means borehole drilling in the Precambrian Shield, 35 kilometres west of Ignace, is halted.

NWMO announced Tuesday that it made the decision as part of its "commitment to protecting people and the environment."

The statement did not include a projected date for a resumption of work.

NWMO has completed three of six planned holes, and was working to complete a fourth borehole this spring.

It said technical studies that can be completed remotely will continue during the suspension of field work.

Ignace and South Bruce, in southern Ontario, are the only two remaining candidates for an underground repository for storing waste from Canada's nuclear power plants.



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