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NWMO announces conclusion of studies in north of Huron region Sagamok eligible to receive $600,000 recognizing community leadership Dec 6 2017
Posted: Dec 06, 2017

NWMO announces conclusion of studies in north of Huron region
Sagamok eligible to receive $600,000 as a recognition of community leadership

Robert Porter, Sagamok Anishnawbek News


This morning, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) informed Sagamok Anishnawbek that they will be ending their study of the north of Huron region’s Mozhabong tract.

The NWMO announced its decision to conclude geological studies in the north of Huron Region, identifying a number of factors that would pose challenges in siting a deep geological repository (DGR) which would store the nation’s used nuclear fuel, including the complexities associated with the geology, limited access and rugged terrain characterizing the area of study and a “low potential to develop the breadth of partnerships needed to implement the project.”

The intention of the NWMO’s Adaptive Phased Management Plan is to start with a number of potential sites, and through rigorous ongoing study, to identify a single, safe site in a region hosted by an informed and willing community that demonstrates a strong potential to support the partnerships necessary to implement a project of the scope and scale of a DGR.

Finding a site to store Canada’s used nuclear fuel follows a multi-year processes that works with communities to find a preferred site to host a potential DGR. The NWMO started with 22 communities in its search for a site and through exploration. As it has learned more in each area, it has made decisions to end study in certain areas and proceed with studies in other areas demonstrating more promising conditions. It will continue to do so until it finds one preferred site.

Further studies will continue in the regions of five other Ontario communities, including Ignace, Manitouwadge, Hornepayne, South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss. The NWMO hopes to be able to select a preferred site in 2023.

In a Memorandum to the Community issued shortly after the NWMO announcement this morning, Chief Paul thanked the Sagamok community members for involving themselves in the community driven response to the potential project that would see the storage of used nuclear fuel somewhere underground. 

“Sagamok Anishnawbek has shown itself to be capable and willing to rise to the occasion when presented with an opportunity to assert its control over a potential threat to its traditional territories and its people. We came together as members of a community and a nation to meet the NWMO project, willing to respond with a warrior spirit protecting our lands in a modern arena.  That we came together as a community to learn and develop a plan of response demonstrates our resilience as a people. It speaks to the importance of our teachings and ceremonies that guided our work. It speaks to the strength of our relationships that allowed us to come together to meet a threat and walk away better for having done so. It speaks to how we’ve evolved as a people to meet the challenges that history put in our paths but from which we’ve nevertheless emerged stronger from having endured it. It speaks to our experience with community development that saw us renew our commitments to the relationships we maintain amongst ourselves.”

Sagamok’s Lands Resources & Environment Director (LRE), Ross Assinewe, says that a formal report presentation will be made to the community’s G’Daa Kiim-Non Committee and other interested stakeholders. Further details will be provided soon.

“In the meantime,” he says, “interested community members and stakeholders can come into our offices located at 89 River Road to discuss this announcement further or to view and receive their own copy of the reports supporting the NWMO’s decision to conclude their studies in the north of Huron region.”

The LRE is the administrative unit that was tasked with working with the community to learn about the NWMO project. 
Assinewe points to Sagamok’s website for community members and other interested stakeholders to go for all their news and information related to this story.

“You can find a copy of Chief Eshkakogan’s Memorandum to the Community there, along with all the reports and documents and reports that we’ve received from the NWMO concerning their study’s findings and recent decision. We’ll make sure to provide coverage of this in next month’s issue of the Sagamok Anishnawbek News.”

In recognition of the Sagamok community’s leadership in bringing the NWMO project to its people to learn about, it was also announced that Sagamok will be eligible to receive funding to support investments in community sustainability and wellbeing totaling $600,000.

The municipalities of Elliot Lake and Blind River will also be eligible to each receive this $600,000 recognition, while the Town of Spanish and the Township of the North Shore will be eligible for $300,000 each.


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