Engaging with people

Invitation to Review a Proposed Process for Selecting a Site

May 1, 2009

Toronto, Ont.

By the NWMO


Designing the Process for Selecting a Site

In 2008, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) initiated a dialogue with interested organizations and individuals on important principles and elements for a fair process to identify an informed and willing community to host facilities for the management of Canada's used nuclear fuel for the long term. Guided by this public input, we have developed a Proposed Process for Selecting a Site for your review and comment.

An important feature of Canada's plan for the long-term care of used nuclear fuel is the development of a deep geological repository in a technically suitable site, hosted by an informed and willing community. This will be a $16- to $24-billion national infrastructure project that will safely contain and isolate used fuel through both engineered barriers and the surrounding geology. The system will be designed so that the waste will be continually monitored and retrievable for an extended period of time. The project will also involve creation of a Centre of Expertise for technical, environmental and community studies related to the design and operation of deep geological repositories. It will become a hub for national and international scientific collaboration for many decades. The project will be implemented through a long-term partnership between the NWMO and an informed and willing community. It will be implemented in a way that helps foster the well-being and sustainability of the host community. Construction of the facility will proceed only after we demonstrate that all safety, health and environmental protection standards set by regulatory authorities can be met or exceeded.

Our Proposed Process for Selecting a Site puts safety first, with site selection guided by rigorous scientific and technical requirements. It proposes steps through which interested communities can learn more as they consider their potential interest in hosting the underground repository and the associated Centre of Expertise.

The Proposed Process is designed to be responsive to direction provided by Canadians who participated in our initial study and the 2008 dialogues. Canadians told us they want to be sure, above all, that the selected site is safe and secure for people and the environment, now and in the future. The process for choosing the site must be grounded in the values and objectives that Canadians hold important, and it must be open, transparent, fair and inclusive. The people we engaged said the process must be designed in a way that citizens can be confident that the highest scientific, professional and ethical standards will be met.

We invite you to review our discussion document and to share your thoughts on whether the proposed process is appropriate and what changes, if any, need to be made. We invite and welcome you to an upcoming information session in your region (all sessions are from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.). Your comments and the views of others will be used to refine and confirm an open, transparent, fair and inclusive process for selecting a site for the long-term management of Canada's used nuclear fuel. 

About the NWMO

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.

Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. 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 plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.
NWMO logo
the NWMO

The NWMO is a not-for profit organization established in 2002 by Canada's nuclear electricity producers in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA).

Sign up for NWMO news and updates

Subscribe and receive NWMO news, reports, updates and more delivered to your inbox.