The NWMO’s governance comprises the Member organizations, the Board of Directors, and its Advisory Council. We are subject to the requirements of the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA) and oversight by the Minister of Natural Resources Canada.

The NWMO’s implementation of a repository as part of Adaptive Phased Management (APM) will be regulated under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its associated regulations to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment, and to respect Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

A licensing decision by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on an APM repository can only be taken after the successful completion of the environmental assessment conducted under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

All aspects of the NWMO’s work will meet or exceed all applicable regulatory standards and requirements for protecting the health, safety and security of humans and the environment.

Member Organizations

Ontario Power Generation, New Brunswick Power Corporation and Hydro-Québec are the founding Members of the NWMO. The Membership Agreement and bylaws set out Member roles and responsibilities in supporting the objectives of the NFWA and the NWMO’s implementation mandate. The NWMO regularly briefs our member organizations.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for oversight of the organization and taking a leadership role in the development of the corporation’s strategic direction. Its members have the skills and experience needed to oversee the managerial, financial and operational activities associated with the long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

The member organizations appoint the Board of Directors.

Advisory Council

The NFWA requires that the NWMO's Board of Directors appoints an Advisory Council to review and comment on our work as part of our triennial reports. The Board continues to ensure appointments remain consistent with the requirements of the NFWA, and take into account the range of expertise required to support the regional and local activity associated with site selection.

Management System

In 2009, the NWMO established our integrated management system. It ensures the organization is well equipped to support the long-term management of used nucler fuel in a manner that safeguards people and respects the environment, now and in the future. As part of our plan to ensure excellence and accountability in governance, we obtained certifications to ISO 9001:2008 for quality, ISO 14001:2004 for environment, and CSA Z1000:2006 for health and safety management.

In addition to maintaining conformance to these standards, the NWMO's management system was extended to meet the requirements of CSA N286-12 Management System Requirements for Nuclear Facilities, which includes nuclear waste facilities.

Independent Technical Reviews

The NWMO will continue to seek external expert review and comment on our technical program. As the technical program moves from research into design, fabrication and demonstration, the nature of the technical reviews will be more focused to the specific design aspects and features. The results of these reviews will help guide the technical program and inform NWMO stakeholders. 

Peer Reviews

The NWMO will continue to seek opportunities for peer review of our work and to invite independent comment. The Adaptive Phased Management Geoscientific Review Group (APM-GRG) is an example. This will benefit program design and delivery, contribute to overall program quality, and help to enhance public confidence in the NWMO’s implementation plans and decision-making.


The NWMO maintains high standards of reporting to demonstrate integrity, excellence, engagement, accountability, and transparency in the implementation of APM. The NWMO reports regularly on our progress, and especially in response to the advice of Canadians and the changing external environment.

The NFWA requires the NWMO to issue annual reports and triennial reports. These reports are submitted to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada and to the public at the same time. The Minister must table the reports in Parliament and issue a statement on each report.

International Commitments

The NWMO reports internationally on our progress at meetings of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (Joint Convention). Under the Joint Convention, Canada must demonstrate that it is meeting international commitments to manage radioactive waste and used nuclear fuel safely.