WHO IS THE NWMO?
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is responsible for designing and implementing Canada's plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The plan, known as Adaptive Phased Management, requires used fuel to be contained and isolated in a deep geological repository. It also calls for a comprehensive process to select a site with informed and willing hosts for the project.
The NWMO team is made up of some of Canada's leading experts in fields related to nuclear waste management. The team also collaborates with experts from across Canada and globally to ensure that the plan benefits from the best available research and experience.
WHERE IS THE NWMO PLANNING TO DO THE WORK?
The community of Ignace initiated its involvement in the site selection process by formally expressing interest in learning about the project in 2010. With the involvement of Ignace, the NWMO is reaching out to other communities in the area so they can also be involved in the process. In 2019, the NWMO announced that the community of Ignace is one of two that meets the eligibility criteria and is continuing with the site selection process. Several years of detailed study and community engagement have led to this decision. The project will only move forward in any area with interested First Nation, Métis and surrounding communities, working together to implement it. The NWMO is committed to respecting the inherent and treaty rights of Indigenous Peoples and recognizes that there may be unresolved claims between Indigenous communities and the Crown to be considered in relation to a proposed site. Preliminary Assessments (Step 3: Phase 2) are now underway in this area. As new information becomes available, the NWMO publishes updates on what has been done, present activities, and future steps.
STEPS TO THE SITE SELECTION PROCESS
Step 1: NWMO Initiates the Process
Step 2: Initial Screening
Step 3: Preliminary Assessments of Suitability
Steps 4-9: Site Confirmation Construction and Operations
For more in-depth information about these steps please visit
The NWMO has been moving ahead with Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel by engaging with communities and advancing scientific studies in both the Ignace and South Bruce regions. Recently, the Mobile Learn More Centre (MLMC) made a tour throughout several communities in both sites and our Ignace Learn More Centre is now open to the public. These spaces give us an opportunity to listen to the community and build relationships. Several community studies have been launched to better understand the impact of the proposed repository project and we look forward to seeing the results over the coming year. Indigenous engagement has been active across both sites. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it.
The NWMO’s geoscience fieldwork is continuing in both the South Bruce and Ignace areas. Geoscience work ongoing in 2021 includes activities such as deep borehole drilling, coring and testing, installation of shallow groundwater monitoring well networks, installation of micro seismic monitoring station networks, and seismic surveys. The NWMO’s broader environmental baseline monitoring program to determine conditions around the potential repository sites is also continuing. A memorable highlight of NWMO’s summer activities has been the eDNA training session led by the University of Guelph. Participants included WLON community members, NWMO environmental staff, and members of North-South Environmental. The NWMO is also working with people – both on the ground and virtually – to address their questions and concerns about radiation exposure during transportation. We continue to seek Canadians’ and Indigenous peoples’ feedback on transportation through the development of a transportation planning framework and ongoing engagement.
For more infornation about the NWMO please visit their website here