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Nuclear Waste Management Organization finishes borehole drilling in Ignace area

NWMO drilled six one-kilometre-deep holes over four years.

IGNACE, Ont. — After four years, borehole drilling work at a proposed underground nuclear waste storage site in Northwestern Ontario is complete.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization says it's finished the last of half a dozen one-kilometre-deep boreholes in the Canadian Shield between Ignace and Wabigoon Lake First Nation.

Drilling for the first hole began on Nov. 6., 2017.

Work at the only other Canadian location still being considered for the disposal site – South Bruce in southern Ontario – won't be finished until the summer of 2022.

Borehole drilling, coring and testing is a key part of the geoscience work at both sites, and is necessary to determine whether they meet government regulatory requirements for the storage of the country's used nuclear fuel.

NWMO has developed a close working relationship with the Township of Ignace but the relationship with Wabigoon Lake First Nation is not as advanced.

The agency says members of the First Nation were on-site during borehole drilling, and gathered information that they brought back to the community.

NWMO says it will remove its equipment from the last borehole site, about 35 kilometres west of Ignace, in the coming months once some downhole testing is completed.

— TBNewswatch