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Ignace takes next step as potential site for underground nuclear waste storage facility

By Adam Riley Mar 19, 2024 | 3:48 PM

Ignace Mayor Kim Baigrie (left) and NWMO President Laurie Swami (Right) sign what the township calls a "historic" agreement on March 18th 2024 (Supplied Photo)

Council in Ignace has signed what is been called a “historic” potential hosting agreement with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO).

A resolution allowing Mayor Kim Baigrie to sign the agreement was passed unanimously Monday night as part of a special council meeting.

Baigrie says she is proud to see her community be the first to sign an agreement of this nature.

“We certainly understand that the signing of this agreement does not mean that we are going to host a Deep Geological Repository (DGR) or that we have decided as a community on our willingness to host a DGR. What it means is that we now have an accurate, clear, concise, and signed agreement with NWMO of the economic and social components that we must consider as we decide to move forward on willingness.”

The signing is considered the next logical step towards the decision to select Ignace as the site, which has yet to be made by the NWMO as a second site in South Bruce is also under consideration.

In a release the township stresses the agreement, in no way, either guarantees Ignace will be selected or that a decision on willingness has been made or influenced by either the signing of the agreement or by the NWMO.

Vice-President of Site Selection Lise Morton says the agreement was co-created between the township and the organization.

“Ignace is a strong and resilient community that embodies the unique spirit of northern Ontario, and this agreement reflects that. We hope residents will review the details of the agreement and imagine what Ignace could look like in the future, full of new opportunities.”

Along with Ignace, Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation will have a willingness process of its own, with the township accepts and respects that community’s decision will also be required to proceed.

The search for a suitable site for a facility, along with a willing host community has been ongoing since 2010.