Latest NWMO implementation plan looks beyond site selection

Used fuel container being loaded into a machine that rotates the container for the cold spray copper process.

The NWMO’s implementation plan outlines our priorities for the next five years as we work towards implementing Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term storage of used nuclear fuel. 

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s (NWMO) new five-year strategic plan sets the stage for taking the organization beyond planning and site selection for Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.


The report, titled Implementing Adaptive Phased Management 2021 to 2025, is now published. Public input is key to our work, and we are inviting Canadians and Indigenous peoples to fill out our online survey and help shape our plans as they continue to progress.


The next five years will see the NWMO move from an organization that is planning to build a repository to one that is implementing that plan, as we anticipate selecting a single, preferred site for Canada’s plan in 2023.


Following site selection, we will take on a new series of activities: implementing partnership agreements with host communities; finalizing the safety case for the identified site; preparing to construct a Centre of Expertise; preparing for and participating in regulatory processes; and getting ready to move our operations to the site that is selected.


The implementation plan is a living document that is regularly assessed and strengthened with direction and guidance from communities, advances in science and technology, insight from Indigenous Knowledge, changes in societal values, and evolving public policy. The document includes a section specifically summarizing comments we received on last year’s plan.


“Your feedback drives and informs all our work. Canada’s plan is your plan, and we need to hear from Canadians and Indigenous peoples to ensure we are on the right track,” said Lisa Frizzell, Vice-President of Communications at the NWMO. “That is why we have made it easier than ever before for you to share your thoughts about our implementation plan with us. A new online survey is now live on our website, and we invite you to participate.”


We are accepting survey responses until June 11, 2021.


The implementation plan is published alongside the NWMO’s 2020 annual report – Guided by science. Grounded in knowledge. Committed to partnership.


About the NWMO


The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (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.