Karine Glenn, Strategic Project Director at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), provided an update on the development of an Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste (ISRW) to the Ignace Community Nuclear Liaison Committee (ICNLC) in March 2021.
In November 2020, Natural Resources Canada asked the NWMO to lead a dialogue with Canadians and Indigenous peoples to inform the development of an ISRW, which will include low- and intermediate-level waste. This is part of the Government of Canada’s Radioactive Waste Policy Review, and leverages the NWMO’s 20 years of recognized expertise in the engagement of Canadians and Indigenous peoples on plans for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.
“Radioactive waste is being safely managed today, but there are gaps in long-term plans, specifically for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste,” said Ms. Glenn. “Developing an integrated strategy means that we are not leaving this to future generations to resolve.”
An integrated strategy will ensure the material continues to be managed in accordance with international best practice over the longer term. Building on previous work, this strategy represents a next step to identify and address any gaps in radioactive waste management planning, while looking further into the future.
The NWMO stressed to the ICNLC that this is separate from Canada’s plan for used nuclear fuel, the Adaptive Phased Management siting process in which the Ignace region is currently involved. The goal was to let the ICNLC know how it can contribute to the development of the ISRW.
“It is important to us that we engage a variety of voices in the process to identify and build common ground on which the strategy can be built, and recognize points of difference,” said Ms. Glenn. “Our goal is to better understand the key considerations that matter to Canadians and Indigenous peoples.”
Interested individuals and organizations will have a variety of ways to participate, while respecting public health directives related to the global COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more and sign up for updates, please visit radwasteplanning.ca.
About the NWMO
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term storage of Canada’s used nuclear fuel in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.
We are implementing Canada’s plan to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository. The plan is based on years of public input, invaluable Indigenous Knowledge, international scientific consensus, and best practices from around the world.
Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2023, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Ignace area and South Bruce, both in Ontario.
Transparent and accountable, the NWMO works in close co-operation with communities, all levels of government, national and international regulators, Indigenous peoples, industry, academia, and civil society organizations.