WINGHAM, ONT. -- A big step in plans to find a permanent home for Canada’s high level nuclear waste begins in Bruce County Friday.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization will perform borehole drilling to find out if the rock under 1500 acres of farmers field north of Teeswater could safely contain Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

“Drilling of boreholes is one of the important ways that we collect information about the geology and underground setting,” says Sarah Hirschorn, Director of Geoscience, at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. “It allows us to learn more about the rock and the water deep below ground at our potential repository sites,” she says.

Plans to potentially bury all of Canada’s high level waste in an underground facility north of Teeswater has divided the community. Groups opposing and supporting the project see tomorrow’s borehole testing, as either a dangerous waste, or the key to finding out if the area could host the project.

Two communities remain in the running to house the $23 billion project. South Bruce, north of Wingham, and Ignace, in Northern Ontario. A decision on where the project will be built is expected in 2023. Construction wouldn’t begin until 2033.

We’ll have more on this story Friday.