The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) continued throughout 2020 to make progress on Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel despite the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Our 2020 annual report – Guided by science. Grounded in knowledge. Committed to partnership. – was submitted on March 25, 2021, to Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan, in conformance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act. The report outlines how the NWMO pulled together to keep Canada’s plan on track and support the communities with which we work during this challenging period. It summarizes the NWMO’s activities throughout 2020 and provides an audited update on the organization’s finances.
“In our annual report, we outline how the NWMO has maintained strong momentum despite the challenges posed by the pandemic,” said NWMO President and CEO Laurie Swami. “Throughout 2020, we remained focused on moving towards partnership with municipal and Indigenous communities in our two remaining potential siting areas.”
The NWMO is committed to including Indigenous perspectives in all our work, and in 2020, we maintained our commitment to incorporating Indigenous Knowledge. We also continued to implement our Reconciliation Policy. For example, we continued our ongoing commitment that all staff receive cultural awareness and Reconciliation training. Moreover, with so many kids at home from school last spring, we held one online training session to which families of NWMO staff were invited to join.
We made significant strides in our technical work, began the engagement process for the eventual transportation of used nuclear fuel, and started the process of co-designing our environmental baseline monitoring program. We also made significant progress in developing and drafting safety case studies for the two potential sites that remain in the site selection process. Furthermore, we began preparations to ensure we are ready to resume borehole drilling in Ignace later this spring and begin it in South Bruce that same season.
The NWMO has also released our five-year implementation plan – Implementing Adaptive Phased Management 2021 to 2025 – a living document that outlines our activities for the next five years. Learn more about that report and fill out the online survey that accompanies it.
About the NWMO
The NWMO is a not-for-profit organization implementing Canada’s plan to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.
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.