International panel

In November 2002, Parliament passed the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA). It required the major owners of used nuclear fuel in Canada to establish the NWMO. The initial phase of our mandate was to study approaches for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel, and to recommend a preferred approach to the Government of Canada. The historical information about one part of that process is preserved here in line with our commitment to transparency.


The President of NWMO invited three individuals with international stature and experience to provide advice and counsel throughout the course of the study.

Justice Thomas Berger

From 1974 to 1977 Thomas Berger served as the Commissioner of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, recommending a ten year moratorium on building a pipeline so that native land claims could be settled. He represented Vancouver - Burrard as a Member of Parliament in 1962-63 and was later an MLA and leader of the British Columbia New Democratic Party. Mr Berger served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia from 1973 to 1983. He now practices law in Vancouver.

Dr. Hans Blix

Hans Blix was Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 1981 to 1997 and was a member of Sweden's delegation to the United Nations from 1961 to 1981. In 2000 he was appointed Executive Director of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission, supervising international inspections for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq until the inspections were suspended in 2003. A Swedish citizen, Dr. Blix has written several books on subjects associated with international and constitutional law.

Dr. Gustav Speth

James Gustav Speth is Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He founded and was president of the World Resources Institute, co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council, served as advisor on environmental issues for U.S. Presidents Carter and Clinton, and was Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Development Program. In 2002, for his role in bringing the global warming issue to wide public attention, Dr. Speth was awarded the international environmental Blue Planet Prize.

These individuals were asked about the NWMO's overall approach to its study, and its assessment of approaches for the long term management of used nuclear fuel. We sought advice on how the NWMO might best apply a broadly integrative approach to the study. We did not ask that they be technical reviewers, although their insights in that domain were also welcomed.

Through telephone calls, face-to-face meetings and correspondence, comment was provided at each stage of the study, with the focus being around each of the NWMO's three major public documents.
Additional information:

Explore the Study

After a comprehensive three-year study, engaging specialists and citizens from all walks of life, the NWMO recommended Adaptive Phased Management for the long-term care of Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

All the specialists and dialogue reports and the analysis supporting the NWMO recommendation are available here for review.

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