CNS NWMDER 2019: The NWMO’s Dr. Ben Belfadhel puts focus on repository siting and community partnerships
The NWMO’s Dr. Mahrez Ben Belfadhel, Vice-President of Site Selection, headlined a plenary presentation about nuclear waste repository siting in Canada, alongside peers from Natural Resources Canada, Ontario Power Generation, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.
We are back for Day 2 of this year’s Nuclear Waste Management, Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration (NWMDER) Conference in Ottawa, Ont. Today’s program featured presentations on a range of topics, including community engagement, used nuclear fuel management and deep geological repository design. The breadth and depth of the conversation reflected the diversity and expertise of the hundreds of Canadian and international delegates joining us this week.
The NWMO’s Dr. Mahrez Ben Belfadhel, Vice-President of Site Selection, headlined a plenary presentation about nuclear waste repository siting in Canada, alongside peers from Natural Resources Canada, Ontario Power Generation, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. Dr. Ben Belfadhel has been a leader in both technical assessment and community engagement for us for the past 10 years. He provided an update on the NWMO’s site selection process, sharing his experience as we continue to build support among community partners to implement Canada’s plan for used nuclear fuel.
Dr. Ben Belfadhel also participated in a technical session on Working together to explore partnerships. Joining him on stage earlier today were his NWMO colleagues Jo-Ann Facella, Paul Austin, Rachelle Davenport, and Norman Sandberg, all of whom are specialists in community engagement.
Dr. Ben Belfadhel’s team highlighted the importance of open and ongoing conversations with these areas as critical to the success of the NWMO’s mandate. The discussion gave delegates an in-depth look at the work being done by the NWMO with our municipal and Indigenous partners to advance Canada’s plan for used nuclear fuel.
The NWMO is currently working with five areas involved in the site selection process, and the project will only proceed with interested communities, First Nation and Métis communities, and surrounding municipalities, working together to implement it.
Tomorrow is the last day of this year’s NWMDER Conference, and we will be on-site to provide a recap. Check back tomorrow afternoon for another update.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.
Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. 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 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.