Co-operation With Our International Counterparts
The NWMO has co-operation agreements with our counterparts in Belgium, Finland, France, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. We also have a memorandum of understanding with our counterpart in Taiwan.
Partnering with other radioactive waste management organizations allows us to:
- Foster international co-operation on the development and demonstration of technology
- Learn from other countries’ experience
- Keep abreast of developments in repository design and safety case development for various host rock formations
Underground Research LaboratoriesUnderground research laboratories provide facilities where we can test and demonstrate our understanding of the behaviour of engineered barriers and of the rock under true deep geological conditions.
We conduct joint research at four different underground laboratories:
- The Mont Terri Underground Research Laboratory and Grimsel Test Site, both in Switzerland;
- The Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory in Sweden; and
- The ONKALO Underground Rock Characterization Facility in Finland.
Collaboration With the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)
The NWMO actively participates in several international activities organized by the NEA. We are a member of its Radioactive Waste Management Committee, the Integration Group for the Safety Case, and the Clay Club. Current major activities include:
- Thermodynamic Database Project
- Expert Group on Operational Safety
- Features, Events and Processes Database Project
- International Collaboration on Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory Across Generations
- Radioactive Waste Repository Metadata Management Project
- Working Group on Measurement and Physical Understanding of Groundwater Flow Through Argillaceous Media (Clay Club)
Workshops and ConferencesThe NWMO’s knowledge base is enhanced through active participation in workshops and conferences sponsored by such organizations as the Canadian Nuclear Society, the NEA, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Partnerships With Universities
Research partnerships with universities play an important role in ensuring we understand how the system of engineered and natural barriers will work together to help isolate used nuclear fuel from the surrounding environment over the very long term. In 2020, the NWMO supported research at 17 universities, including Western University, the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and York University.
We also participate in University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering (UNENE), an alliance of universities, nuclear power utilities, and research and regulatory agencies. UNENE is a not-for-profit corporation for the support and development of nuclear education, research and development capacities in Canadian universities.
Our technical staff also provide support to university students by acting as mentors, by participating on PhD thesis committees, and by sharing their expertise through review of research proposals and theses, and hands-on assistance with the design and setup of specific experiments or methods.