Nuclear energy in Canada

Canada has been using nuclear energy to power our homes and businesses for nearly 60 years. 


    As worldwide energy demand grows and the need to address climate change intensifies, the role of nuclear power has become an increasingly important part of the conversation. The Government of Canada has stated that there is no path to meeting its 2050 target of net-zero carbon emissions without nuclear energy. 

    Used nuclear fuel, a byproduct of nuclear energy, is highly radioactive. It’s safely stored today in licensed facilities near the nuclear power stations where it is generated, and must also be carefully managed over the long term to ensure people and the environment are protected.

    Canada’s plan plays a vital role by closing the fuel cycle. The NWMO is entrusted with implementing this plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel (including that produced by emerging technologies) inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come. As we implement Canada’s plan to safely manage used nuclear fuel — today’s and tomorrow’s — safety will always be our top priority.

    This photo shows a group of people in front of dry storage containers.

    Canada's used nuclear fuel

    The country’s used nuclear fuel is currently safely stored in licensed facilities at reactor sites in Canada. Today’s method is safe, but temporary. It requires ongoing maintenance and management, which isn’t sustainable over the very long period the material must be contained and isolated. This is why Canada has a plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.
    Learn more
    A photo of a hydro tower

    Adapting to emerging technology

    Canada’s plan is designed to adapt to changes in technology, including emerging sources of used nuclear fuel like small modular reactors (SMRs). We are building flexibility into deep geological repository designs so we can be ready for future decisions.
    Learn more

    Continue reading

    An icon of a pencil and a ruler


    Canada's plan
    An icon of the nuclear symbol


    Radiation risk and safety