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Nuclear waste referendum date set for October

Sign opposing plans to build a facility to house Canada’s used nuclear fuel near Teeswater, seen on April 4, 2024. (Scott Miller/CTV News London) Sign opposing plans to build a facility to house Canada’s used nuclear fuel near Teeswater, seen on April 4, 2024. (Scott Miller/CTV News London)
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Residents in the Municipality of South Bruce will decide whether they want to host Canada’s first permanent nuclear waste storage facility this October.

South Bruce Council has set a date for a long awaited referendum on the proposed project of Oct. 28, 2024.

Eligible voters will be asked, “Are you in favour of the Municipality of South Bruce declaring South Bruce to be a willing host for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s proposed deep geological repository?”

If 50 per cent of voters turn out and more than 50 per cent vote “yes,” South Bruce will declare itself a willing host for the project.

If 50 per cent of voters turn out and 50 per cent vote “no,” South Bruce will no longer be in the running for the project.

However, if fewer than 50 per cent of voters end up voting in the referendum, South Bruce Council will decide whether the community will move forward in the process or not.

Graphics show what a deep geological repository to store Canada’s used nuclear fuel bundles might look like. (Source: Nuclear Waste Management Organization)

For the past 25 years, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization has been looking for a community willing to host Canada’s 5.6 million radioactive used nuclear fuel bundles in a massive underground facility.

The only two communities left in the running for the project are the Municipality of South Bruce, north of Wingham, and the community of Ignace in northern Ontario.

The $26 billion project would mean thousands of jobs for the host community over the 170 year lifespan of the proposed facility.

It would also mean housing Canada’s most radioactive waste forever.

South Bruce Council said there will seven days of advance voting ahead of the referendum date. 

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