Canada's plan is designed to be implemented in six phases:
- Site selection and regulatory approval
- Site preparation and construction
- Extended monitoring
- Decommissioning and closure
- Postclosure monitoring
The NWMO initiated the site selection process in May 2010. Site selection and regulatory approval will take many years to complete. This will be followed by an estimated 10-year period to construct the facilities.
Used fuel transportation, handling and placement in the repository will occur over a period of about 40 years or more, depending on the inventory of used fuel to be managed. After that, the repository will be monitored for an extended period of time before decommissioning, closure and postclosure monitoring.