In June 2007, the Government of Canada selected Adaptive Phased Management (APM), as Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The NWMO is now responsible for implementing this plan.

APM is designed to be implemented in phases over many decades. We continually review, strengthen, and adjust the plan in the face of new information, advances in science and technology, input from the public, insight from Indigenous Knowledge, and changes in energy and environmental policy.

The NWMO publishes an annual update on the plan, titled Implementing Adaptive Phased Management. Each update provides a summary of progress from the year before, as well as a set of strategic objectives for the upcoming five-year period.

Each year, an updated draft of the plan is released for public comment. With the close of the review period, the plan is revised to reflect comments received.

Strategic Objectives (2017–2021)

The NWMO will:

  • Build sustainable, long-term relationships with interested Canadians and Aboriginal peoples of Canada, and involve them in setting future directions for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel. Continue to adapt plans for the management of used nuclear fuel in response to evolving societal expectations and values, insight from Indigenous Knowledge, and changes in public policies;

  • Implement collaboratively with communities the process to select a site suitable for locating the deep geological repository and Centre of Expertise in a safe location in an area with an informed, willing host;

  • Conduct testing of the engineered-barrier system in order to demonstrate that it meets safety requirements, and can be produced effectively and efficiently;

  • Advance planning and capabilities for the construction and operation of the deep geological repository and the associated Centre of Expertise at the site selected to host the project;

  • Continuously improve technical knowledge in collaboration with universities and international partners, and adapt plans consistent with international best practices;

  • Establish safe, secure and socially acceptable plans for transporting used nuclear fuel;

  • Ensure funds are available to pay for the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel; and

  • Maintain an accountable governance structure that provides confidence to the Canadian public in the conduct of the NWMO’s work.