How much is there?

As of 2023, Canada’s existing inventory is about 3.3 million used nuclear fuel bundles.


    3.3 million bundles
    If stacked like cordwood, Canada's inventory of used nuclear fuel could fit into about nine NHL hockey rinks from the ice surface to the top of the boards. At the end of the planned operation of Canada’s existing nuclear reactors, the number of used fuel bundles could total about 5.6 million. 

    About 90,000 additional used fuel bundles are generated each year.

    A deep geological repository will need to be large enough to contain and isolate the full inventory of Canada's used fuel. No foreign used fuel will be placed in the repository.

    The NWMO publishes annual inventory reports which can be found below.

    Used fuel from potential new reactors

    Used fuel produced by potential new reactors, including small modular reactors (SMRs), will depend on the size and type of reactor and number of units deployed. Plans for new reactors are at various stages of development. The impacts of any future decisions on reactor refurbishment, new nuclear builds or advanced fuel cycle technologies made by the nuclear utilities in Canada on the projected inventory of nuclear fuel waste will be incorporated into future plans.

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    Additional information

    Nuclear fuel waste projections 2023 update

    Nuclear Fuel Waste Projections in Canada – 2023 Update

    The NWMO publishes annual inventory reports of used nuclear fuel.

    Backgrounder: Canada's used nuclear fuel

    Canada’s used nuclear fuel

    For decades, Canadians and Indigenous peoples have been using electricity generated by CANDU nuclear power reactors in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Used nuclear fuel is a byproduct of this process.

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    An icon showing a used fuel bundle


    Canada's used nuclear fuel
    An icon showing a used fuel bundle

    Canada's used nuclear fuel

    How is it stored today?