Borehole tours in South Bruce a source of inspiration

To the Editor:

Recently, the NWMO partnered with the Municipality of South Bruce to host a group of young adults interested in Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The group was able to tour the borehole sites and ask detailed questions of one of the NWMO scientists who specializes in the safety case for the project.

Since joining the NWMO I’ve been inspired by the community and, having the opportunity to engage with some of the young adults in the community, it has reinforced this sentiment.

It often happens on borehole tours that people come in unsure of what they will see or have misconceptions about what is underground and what the project is all about.

But then, you show them a sample of rock that is hundreds of millions of years old, rock that came up from the ground right here in South Bruce, and there is many times an emotional response. That rock is older than dinosaurs. It has remained much the same through unimaginable turbulence on the earth’s surface.

On the tour, you get a strong sense of how stable the rock is and, just as important, how disconnected the rock formation targeted for the repository is from the surface where the life we’re all so familiar with happens. It is truly remarkable.

The #NextGenNetwork event, like many of our borehole tours, helped build an understanding of the rock beneath us and why the stability of this ancient place will keep people and the environment protected for generations and generations to come.

What’s more, this state-of-the-art repository will have the responsibility of safely isolating Canada’s used nuclear fuel and protecting the environment for millennia. It will attract and inspire people from around the world. And it could take place right here in South Bruce.

The opportunity is amazing and the potential is inspiring. I’ve seen it spark a light in people’s eyes and minds, especially the local youth who will be part of the generation that is building, maintaining, and monitoring this critical national environmental infrastructure project.

It is clear that if the project is sited in South Bruce, it will signal to the world this community is able to work through challenging and emotional decisions, stand up on its feet and lead the way. And this is completely aligned with our rural roots – we are never afraid to pioneer the way forward.

What I saw at our recent event, was a group of young adults, literally the future of South Bruce, excited by the possibilities, ready to build on the foundation of hard work and agriculture, excited to explore and exhaust those possibilities. It was authentic and inspiring. The project is a source of inspiration and empowerment. Frankly, as a young person at the beginning of my career in South Bruce, it is an honour to see.

Thank you to everyone who joined us and if there is anyone from the community who would like to join a borehole tour, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at

Chloe Reaburn,
NWMO Engagement Associate – South Bruce