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What is the NWMO?

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Last updated 10/18/2016

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2002 by Canada's nuclear electricity producers (Ontario Power Generation, New Brunswick Power and Hydro-Québec) as directed by the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA), which came into force November 15, 2002.

We were created with a mandate to develop an approach for the long-term care of Canada’s used nuclear fuel and to implement it after the approach was approved by the federal government. We developed this approach, called Adaptive Phased Management (APM) through an innovative and wide-ranging program of dialogue with scientists, experts in a wide range of disciplines, and interested Canadians across the country.

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What is the NWMO's mandate?

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Last updated 10/18/2016

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) was established in 2002 by Canada’s nuclear electricity producers in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA). Operating on a not-for-profit basis under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, we are responsible for designing and implementing Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

We consulted with thousands of Canadians from 2002 to 2005 on options for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The Government selected our recommended approach of Adaptive Phased Management (APM) in June 2007 as Canada's plan.

We are now responsible for implementing APM, subject to all necessary regulatory approvals.

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What is Canada's Plan to manage used nuclear fuel?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel is called Adaptive Phased Management (APM).

The approach, which is both a technical method and a management system, emerged from a three-year dialogue with both experts and the general public. It is consistent with long-term management best practices adopted by other countries with nuclear power programs, such as Finland, France, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
The end point of the technical method is the centralized containment and isolation of Canada's used fuel in a deep geological repository in an area with suitable geology and an informed and willing host. APM also involves the development of a transportation system to move the used fuel from the facilities where it is currently stored to the new site.

The management system involves realistic, manageable phases, each marked by explicit decision points. It allows for flexibility in the pace and manner of implementation, and fosters the sustained engagement of people and communities throughout its implementation.

APM is designed to meet rigorous safety standards throughout all aspects of its design and implementation.

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How does the NWMO report its progress?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

We are subject to the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Fuel Act (NFWA) and oversight by the Minister of Natural Resources Canada.

We submit annual and triennial reports to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada, who tables the reports in Parliament. The NWMO's reports are made public at the same time they are submitted to the minister.

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Who sits on the NWMO's Board of Directors?

Response

Last updated 10/22/2018

The Board currently has nine Directors elected by member companies. The role of the Board is to provide oversight of the NWMO and leadership in the development of our strategic direction.

Mr. Wayne Robbins serves as Chair, and Ms. Laurie Swami, as President and CEO. Ms. Josée Pilon was elected by Hydro-Québec; Mr. Darren Murphy, by New Brunswick Power Nuclear; and Mr. Carlo Crozzoli, Mr. Mark Elliott, Ms. Lesley Gallinger, Mr. Ronald Jamieson, and Ms. Janet Rieksts-Alderman, by Ontario Power Generation.

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What is the role of the NWMO's Advisory Council?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

In 2002, the NWMO's Board of Directors established an Advisory Council as required by the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA).

The NWMO Advisory Council is an independent and arm's-length body of individuals who are knowledgeable about nuclear waste management issues and experienced in working with the public and communities on public policy issues.

The Advisory Council is required by the NFWA to comment publicly every three years on our activities from the three previous years and on our five-year strategic plans and budget forecasts. Advisory Council statements about our activities, strategic plans and budget forecasts are published in our triennial reports. These reports are submitted to the Minister of Natural Resources and the public at the same time.

The Advisory Council also provides us advice on an ongoing basis. Through its counsel to the NWMO, the Advisory Council:

  • Ensures that the views of the public and communities of interest are considered and reflected in a thoughtful, balanced way in the proposed approaches and reports of the NWMO; and
  • Assists the NWMO in ensuring that its processes are of good quality, and are open, transparent, thorough, and sound.

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What kind of jobs exist with the NWMO?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

We employ professionals in fields such as geoscience, safety assessment, engineering, regulatory affairs, technical support, environmental assessment, social research, public and Aboriginal engagement, communications, finance, human resources and law.

Staffing capabilities will continue to be increased, as needed, consistent with growth in the work program. We also work with an extended group of consultants, practitioners and academics from across Canada and internationally to ensure that our work benefits from the best available research and experience.

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