Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organisation (NWMO) has chosen Ontario-based Geofirma Engineering Ltd to drill and test initial boreholes in South Bruce.

NWMO said borehole drilling and testing work is part of its site assessment programme, “as we seek to further build our understanding of the geosphere at the potential repository site”.

“Geofirma has extensive experience in characterising low-permeability bedrock and brings proven expertise in borehole drilling and testing in South Bruce,” said Sean Sterling, vice president, principal hydrogeologist/engineer at Geofirma Engineering. “This is an important project and we’re pleased to work with the NWMO. The data and information we will gather will help form an in-depth understanding of the area geosphere while providing opportunities for local support services.”

The work is expected to begin in autumn. “The data acquired will build on NWMO’s understanding of the geosphere and will be used in determining if the potential repository site can safety host a deep geological repository,’ said Sarah Hirschorn, director of Geoscience at the NWMO.

From 2020-2024 the NWMO aims to complete the process of identifying a single preferred site and move into the licensing and regulatory process. Two locations – Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce in southern Ontario and Ignace in north-western Ontario – remain under consideration as potential host areas.