Message from the President and CEO: Leading by example
Laurie Swami, President and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization
As President and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), I envision a future where the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel is no longer seen as a problem in need of a solution, but instead as a proven model of responsible stewardship.
And I am happy to say that in 2023, we continue to see real momentum in demonstrating the kinds of leadership that will be needed both at home and abroad to make that future a reality.
Most recently, I was proud to sign a Statement of Intent with the U.S. Department of Energy to co-operate on used nuclear fuel management. This agreement will foster cross-border information sharing on scientific and technical studies, engagement activities and consent-based siting. It is an important step forward for both of our nations, one that will strengthen the system of international partnerships that supports the development of nuclear waste management projects.
And just last month, we signed a five-year extension of our co-operation agreement on the long-term management of radioactive waste and used nuclear fuel with the French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (Andra). As world leaders in nuclear waste management, continuing to collaborate and share insights between our countries is critical to the success of both our projects and the future of nuclear waste management broadly.
Earlier this year, I spoke at the Canadian Nuclear Association’s annual conference about how nuclear waste management continues to be a Canadian strength. The theme for the conference this year was Canada’s global leadership in nuclear technology and innovation. It was exciting to hear about the impact Canadian nuclear projects are making here and around the globe, in areas such as fighting climate change, providing energy security, and of course, responsibly managing waste.
So from my perspective, the future I am envisioning is within reach. And at the NWMO, we have recently published our implementation plan that shows how we are planning to get there over the next five years.
But we cannot get there without you. I believe that a key aspect of strong leadership is listening. So I encourage you to get involved by taking our survey on the implementation plan, to help shape the future of our work as we implement Canada’s plan.
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.