The Nuclear Waste Management Organization announced yesterday it will focus efforts on fewer areas in the site selection process for a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel.

The area around Blind River and Elliot Lake will no longer be considered to host the project.

Studies are continuing in the vicinity of five other communities: Ignace, Manitouwadge, Hornepayne, South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss, all in Ontario, from the original 22 that expressed interest in participating.

In recognition of their leadership, the municipal and First Nation communities that led siting activities in the area will be eligible for funding to support investments in community sustainability and well-being. Blind River, Elliot Lake and Sagamok-Anishnawbek First Nation will receive $600,000.

Spanish and The North Shore will receive $300,000.

Since 2010, the organization has been engaged in a multi-year, community-driven process to identify a preferred site for a repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

It expects to be in a position to select a preferred site by 2023.