Canada's plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel, including the transportation of used nuclear fuel, is informed by international best practices.

Governments, regulators and commercial organizations around the world have extensive experience in the safe, secure transport of radioactive materials. In over 50 years, there have been no serious injuries, health impacts, fatalities, or environmental consequences attributable to the radiological nature of these shipments.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, government agencies, and independent experts in many countries regularly examine and research safety issues related to the transport of radioactive substances.

Used Nuclear Fuel Transportation

Shipments in Selected Countries

  • Since the 1970s, Canada has transported approximately five used fuel shipments per year from nuclear generating stations to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s Chalk River Laboratories.
  • In the last 40 years, the United States has made nearly 3,000 shipments of commercial used fuel covering over 2.5 million kilometres, mostly by road and some by rail.
  • The United Kingdom and France transport a combined average of 550 shipments of high-level radioactive waste every year, primarily by rail.
  • Sweden makes approximately 40 shipments per year by water. Japan has made approximately 200 shipments by water over the years.