Canada completes second borehole for used fuel management

28 October 2019

Canada's Nuclear Waste Management Organisation (NWMO) has finished drilling a second borehole at a site near Ignace in Ontario, as part of ongoing investigations to identify a suitable site for long-term management of the country's used nuclear fuel.

NWMO is now conducting testing inside the borehole (Image: NWMO)

NWMO is now conducting on-site 'downhole' testing in the borehole in the Revell Batholith, which NWMO Director of Geoscience Sarah Hirschorn said will take about eight weeks to complete, as well as laboratory tests.

"We are continuing to test and analyse the core and water to further build our understanding of the geosphere," she said.

Drilling of a third borehole has also begun about 2.5 kilometres from the first and second borehole drilling sites, and preparations are under way for three further boreholes in the area.

The site, between Ignace and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation, is one of five in NWMO's site selection process, which includes technical and geoscientific studies. The other sites are Hornepayne and area; Huron-Kinloss; Manitouwadge and area; and South Bruce. All are in Ontario. Sixteen areas previously engaged in the site selection process are now no longer being studied, either because they were screened out based on completed studies or, in one case, withdrew.

NWMO's site selection process for a repository for Canada's used nuclear fuel aims to identify a single, preferred location in an area with informed and willing hosts by 2023.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News