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November 23 Update: In an open letter to Mayor and Council, NII announced November 23 that they would continue to explore site options within Saugeen Shores prior to pursuing other locations across Bruce County. Click for full story. 

Updated November 10 with a statement from Mayor Mike Smith.

In a joint statement November 9, Bruce Power and the County of Bruce have announced that they will look for a new site on which to build the Ontario Nuclear Innovative Institute (NII).

In May, the pair established the NII as an international centre of excellence for applied research and training, one that presents a unique opportunity for the region to be a global host for innovative technologies, while also linking to local elementary and secondary schools, post-secondary institutions, and training centres, to provide the next generation of innovators with exciting educational, career and learning opportunities close to home.

When the project was launched, it was announced that an addition to the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre in Southampton was the preferred location, in order to take advantage of the expansion of the Archives. A commitment was also made that a dialogue and consultation would occur with the public on this location. Unfortunately, public debate over this location was distracting from this incredibly exciting opportunity for our region, and, in order for this to be successful, we need to have the support of the host community.

Thus, Ontario’s Nuclear Innovation Institute will not be located adjacent to the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre, and further site selection will continue in 2019, following appropriate siting considerations. Bruce Power recognizes the value the Museum has to the region and the company will continue to support its programs.

In the interim, while a site is being chosen and constructed, a temporary headquarters for the Institute will be established at the offices of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries, at 625 Goderich Street in Port Elgin starting in January 2019. This office, which also houses the Indigenous Relations Supplier Network, will allow the Institute to begin its work, while also serving as a public information centre.

Since the NII was launched in May, a number of global companies have expressed a strong desire to partner in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, cyber-security, medical and industrial isotopes, Indigenous economic development, nuclear operational excellence, and health and environmental excellence in the Lake Huron and Georgian Bay areas. It is critical we demonstrate to these companies that the Institute is supported, regardless of the location.

Next week, Bruce Power will provide more information on how the NII will support students at our local schools. It’s critical we ensure our youth have access to the best educational and career opportunities, and the Institute will provide the connections that will allow our future leaders to pursue their dreams.

Bruce Power is a company that values its positive role in the community. Advancing Ontario’s Nuclear Innovation Institute in Bruce County builds on this commitment, as we leverage the many strengths of our nuclear industry and supply chain, much of which is now based in the region.

Bruce Power and Bruce County have a long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship, and we remain committed to advancing both our partnership and this project.

In a November 9 statement from the Town of Saugeen Shores, Mayor Mike Smith said the institute will play a significant role in attracting talent to Bruce County. "New jobs support our community and our economy. Many local business owners in Saugeen Shores recognize the business opportunity that comes with the Innovation Institute," he said.

“Talent will follow this world class facility. The Town supports the vision Bruce Power has for the institute and its commitment to youth and our community. We look forward to working closely with Bruce Power to find a new location in Saugeen Shores," he added.

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