News Release: NWMO Appointments

TORONTO, June 30, 2006 - As the Government of Canada considers its response to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization study and recommendation submitted last November, the NWMO is preparing for the next phase of its mandate. In accord with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act, the organization will be required to implement the long-term management approach for used fuel selected by the Government.

As part of a broader effort to equip the NWMO with the resources and oversight needed to implement a Government decision, the Board of Directors has taken initial steps to support the transition.

Recently appointed to the Board, Gary Kugler will become its chair. Dr. Kugler, who is also a member of the Ontario Power Generation Board of Directors, enjoyed a distinguished 34 year career in the nuclear industry prior to his retirement in 2004.

"A priority task in this new position will be to continue the review already underway of future NWMO governance," said Gary Kugler. "Among other things we must consider Board membership and composition with a view to having a broader range of perspectives than industry executives," he added. A former pilot in the Canadian Air Force, Gary Kugler holds a Bachelor of Science degree in honours physics and a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from McMaster University.

Elizabeth Dowdeswell, having fulfilled her mandate to lead the study of management approaches for used nuclear fuel in her capacity of President over the last three years, has agreed to continue to support the NWMOs Board of Directors. Reporting directly to the Board of Directors as Special Advisor, Ms. Dowdeswell will lead the development of a collaborative process for siting any facilities required by a government decision consistent with NWMOs visions and intentions set out in the Final Study.

"Elizabeth Dowdeswell and her staff have laid a firm foundation for the NWMO to move forward competently and confidently with implementation," said Gary Kugler. "The Board commends her leadership through the first phase and appreciates her decision to provide valuable advice and support in the implementation phase."

Ken Nash will assume the position of President and CEO of the organization. Mr. Nash is a founding director of the NWMO and most recently its Board Chair. As Senior Vice President, he also heads Ontario Power Generations Nuclear Waste Management Division. "I am committed to ensuring that the NWMO continues with its social, ethical and outreach program while also integrating the substantial expertise in technical R & D, finance, and international collaboration on waste management technologies developed by the nuclear industry over the last 20 years," said Mr. Nash.

Today's appointments build on what the NWMO has already established and help to ensure that the funding, expertise and governance frameworks are in place to successfully implement a long-term used nuclear fuel management plan for Canada. They are consistent with the NWMO's commitments to:

  • Continue to engage Canadians in future processes and decision-making on managing used nuclear fuel.
  • Continue research on best practices for public engagement, local involvement and collaborative processes for implementation.
  • Maintain a vibrant research and development effort, to meet the expectations of Canadians that the NWMO will continue to seek out the latest developments in scientific, engineering and environmental aspects of waste management technologies.
  • Ensure sufficient funds are available and financial management processes are in place so that financial burdens are not passed to future generations.
  • Acquire the necessary skills and expertise to fulfill NWMO responsibilities.

In keeping with its policy of openness and transparency, the NWMO will continue to inform Canadians of its progress as it prepares to begin the implementation phase of its work.