NWMO background papers

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.


    NWMO has commissioned a series of background papers which present concepts and contextual information about the state of our knowledge on important topics related to the management of radioactive waste. The intent of these background papers is to provide input to defining possible approaches for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel and to contribute to an informed dialogue with the public and other stakeholders.

    As a standard practice, background papers were peer reviewed before accepted by the NWMO and posted on this website. In the case of background papers on "Guiding Concepts" and "Social and Ethical Considerations", independent comment was solicited and posted with each paper in lieu of the peer review process.

    The topics of the background papers can be classified under the following broad headings:

    1. Guiding Concepts

    2. Social and Ethical Dimensions

    3. Health and Safety

    4. Science and Environment

    5. Economic Factors

    6. Technical Methods

    7. Institutions and Governance

    8. Workshop Reports

    9. Assessments

    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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