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How can I follow the NWMO's progress in implementing Adaptive Phased Management?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

There are a number of ways you can keep up-to-date about our progress. On an annual basis, we publish a five-year implementation plan that establishes the objectives and milestone activities for the next five years. Every year, we also publish an annual report and submit it to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada. It shows our progress over the previous year.

If you live near a study area and wish to learn more about the project, you can visit one of our local offices or attend public events, such as open houses. Sometimes we also take part in community events, such as fairs or trade shows, where you could visit our booth. You can also attend community liaison committee (CLC) meetings. CLCs are committees set up by municipal councils and are made up of residents in the area. They are independent of the NWMO. Meetings and other public events are typically advertised in local newspapers and with local radio stations.

Another way to stay up-to-date about our progress is by signing up for our email newsletters. And as new information becomes available, we post it on our website.

Study AreasAnnual ReportsNewsletter Subscriptions and Local Offices

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What communities originally expressed interest in getting involved as a potential host?

Response

Last updated 12/6/2017

Twenty-two communities initially expressed interest in learning about the project and exploring their suitability as a potential host. The only commitment any of these communities have made is to learn.

Confirming a safe site will take several years of progressively more detailed technical, scientific, social, cultural, and economic studies, as well as engagement of people in the area. We will only implement the project in an area where robust safety requirements can be satisfied and community well-being fostered.

The image shows the remaining communities in the site selection process: Ignace, Manitouwadge, Hornepayne, South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss in blue, while communities no longer in the process are in grey.
Study AreasAreas No Longer Being Studied

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How will the NWMO confirm a willing host? Will residents have a say?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

We have a community-driven site selection process that is designed to ensure, above all, that any location selected is safe and secure, and has an informed and willing host.

Best practice and experience suggest there are a range of approaches a potential host may use to demonstrate its willingness in a compelling manner. These might include documented support expressed through open citizen discussions, a telephone poll, online meetings or surveys, and/or a formal referendum.

New approaches may also emerge over the intervening years as societal expectations and decision-making processes continue to evolve. Communities will be encouraged to identify processes that meet their specific needs and demonstrate clearly to the NWMO whether the project has the support of citizens.

As the siting process has evolved, and engagement has broadened to include First Nation, Métis and other communities in the area, the need for partnership to support the implementation of the project is emerging as an important objective. The project will only proceed with the involvement of the interested community, First Nation and Métis communities in the area, and surrounding communities working together to implement it.

About the Process

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How is the NWMO narrowing down the number of communities in the site selection process?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

The preferred site must meet robust technical requirements focused on safety. It must also be appropriate, considering the social, economic, cultural and spiritual practices and preferences of those in the area.

Initially, 22 communities expressed interest in learning about Canada's plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel. Based on early assessments and dialogues, we selected a smaller number of areas for further studies. These areas showed strong potential for meeting strict safety requirements and for the project to align with the community’s long-term vision.

Over time and through increasingly detailed technical and social studies and engagement, it will become clearer which areas have the strongest potential to safely host the project. Findings to date do not confirm suitability of any site, and no community has expressed willingness to host the project.

Study AreasAbout the Site Selection Process

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How will neighbouring communities be affected?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

We are committed to ensuring the project is implemented in a way that fosters well-being and fits with the long-term vision for the area among people living there. The project will only proceed with the involvement of the community that expressed interest, First Nation and Métis communities in the area, and other surrounding communities.

Surrounding communities have the potential to benefit from the location of the project in their area. It is a large infrastructure development that is expected to provide significant employment and income to the host region and province. With a project of this size and nature, there is also potential to contribute to social and economic pressures. For example, temporary workers during construction will need to be accommodated. These pressures will need to be carefully managed and addressed to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the community and area.

Potentially affected surrounding communities, and First Nation and Métis communities will be engaged in the process. We will ensure necessary resources are available for their participation.

Employment and Economics

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Will neighbouring communities have a say in whether the project goes ahead?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

Yes. The project will only proceed with the involvement of the community that expressed interest, First Nation and Métis communities in the area, and other surrounding communities.

Adaptive Phased Management is a large project and has the potential to both benefit and negatively impact a large area. Planning across a broad area will ensure benefits associated with the project such as employment and income are maximized, and any negative effects are minimized, mitigated and managed.

Planning across a broad area will also help ensure that those who are potentially affected by the location of the project will have the means and opportunity to be involved in planning how the project will be implemented.

Step 3: Preliminary Assessments of SuitabilitySteps 4 to 9: Site Confirmation, Construction and OperationsAbout the Process

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What if all the communities say no?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

If an informed and willing host is not identified, then used nuclear fuel will continue to be safely stored at the interim storage facilities located at each nuclear reactor site. We would continue to work with Canadians to decide the best way forward for its safe, long-term management.

About the ProcessHow Is It Stored Today

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How will the area selected benefit from the project?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

Adaptive Phased Management is approximately a $22.8-billion (2015 $) national infrastructure project. It will bring about significant economic benefits to the area where it is eventually located, including the community that initiated the area's involvement, First Nation and Métis communities in the area, surrounding municipalities, and the host province.

It is a multi-generational project that will be developed and implemented in phases over a period spanning more than 150 years. The economic impact will include many direct, indirect, and induced jobs, involving scientists, engineers, tradespeople, and others. Construction and operations will create wealth in the form of business profits and personal income throughout the siting area amounting to many hundreds of millions of dollars.

We will work with communities in the siting area to foster well-being and help capture benefits that align with the communities' visions. The project may contribute to social and economic pressures that will need to be carefully managed to ensure the area's long-term well-being and sustainability. We will work with communities to explore the need for assistance, such as job training, affordable housing and infrastructure.

This image visually depicts employment numbers by project phase, including estimated timelines and range of skills required. Detailed information about the image is on the Employment by Project Phase page, linked below.
Employment and EconomicsSteps in the ProcessEmployment by Project Phase

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Were communities paid to enter the process?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

No. Communities taking part in the site selection process voluntarily expressed an interest in learning more about the project.

As communities continue through the process, we provide resources (information and funding) to support their participation and reimburse expenses associated with the project.

Resource programs are designed to ensure communities are able to thoroughly assess the benefits and impacts the project may have on their community. These programs will continue to evolve to ensure communities have the support they need at each step in the process.

At various stages in the process, we have also provided funding to retroactively recognize communities' and organizations' contributions to advancing this national infrastructure project.

Resources to Support Participation (Funding and Expertise)Recognizing Community Leadership in Preliminary Assessments: Phase 1Acknowledging Aboriginal Contributions in Preliminary Assessments: Phase 1

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Why has the NWMO recognized communities with funding?

Response

Last updated 10/18/2016

At various stages of the site selection process so far, we have introduced programs to acknowledge substantial contributions to Canada's plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

By design, the site selection process is designed to be driven by communities. Involvement and willingness to learn by municipalities, and First Nation and Metis communities has helped advance this important national infrastructure project.

Recognizing Community Leadership in Preliminary Assessments: Phase 1Acknowledging Aboriginal Contributions in Preliminary Assessments: Phase 1Recognizing Communities in Preliminary Assessments: Phase 2

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