Several towns in Northwestern Ontario have received a financial boost from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.
Communities that have worked with the agency are getting $400,000 apiece for local improvement projects. And three of the towns are moving to the next stage in becoming the possible host site for a used nuclear fuel repository.
Schreiber, Ignace and Hornepayne were notified by the NWMO that they've completed the first phase of the preliminary assessment, and have been identified for further study.
Wawa and Ear Falls were not selected for more detailed study.
A total of 24 communities across Canada, including eight in the Northwest, have hosted open houses and agreed to learn more about the proposed underground repository.
Officials in Nipigon, White River and Manitouwadge are still waiting for the first phase assessment to be completed.
NWMO officials say they decided to give each community the $400,000, whether they were selected or not, to show their appreciation for getting involved.
Schreiber Mayor Don McArthur says the money can be used for projects, programs or services that benefit youth or seniors, community sustainability, energy efficiency or economic development.
He adds that he's pleasantly surprised by the announcement, but points out the next phase will be a lot of work.
The NWMO wants to have repository built within the next 15 years.
(Thunder Bay Television)