Canada's plan

NWMDER 2023 Conference: The NWMO continues to build momentum on Canada’s plan 

NWMDER 2023 - Laurie

NWMO President and CEO Laurie Swami speaks at the 5th Canadian Conference on Waste Management, Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration.

August 29, 2023

Niagara Falls, Ont.

By the NWMO

Share
NWMDER 2023 - Laurie

NWMO President and CEO Laurie Swami speaks at the 5th Canadian Conference on Waste Management, Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration.

Continuing to chart a path forward on Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel, this week the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is sponsoring the 5th Canadian Conference on Nuclear Waste Management, Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration (NWMDER 2023).  

The event is Canada’s premier nuclear waste and decommissioning conference, with nearly 400 attendees from around the world. Numerous NWMO employees and leaders are sharing knowledge and experience through presentations and panel discussions.  

On Monday, NWMO President and CEO Laurie Swami delivered a keynote address that highlighted the progress of Canada’s plan to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel, the integrated strategy we have proposed for other radioactive waste, and the ongoing global momentum of deep geological repositories.  

“While the NWMO’s mandate lies in Canada, we are eager to collaborate with our international partners in making the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel viable around the world,” said Ms. Swami. “These projects show there is international scientific consensus and momentum behind these approaches, and at the NWMO we’re confident we will be able to keep that momentum going.”  

Most recently, the NWMO signed a Statement of Intent with the U.S. Department of Energy to co-operate on used nuclear fuel management. The NWMO also has co-operation agreements with counterparts in Belgium, Finland, France, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as a memorandum of understanding with our counterpart in Taiwan.  

Canada’s plan for used nuclear fuel is a multigenerational project that will protect people and the environment for generations to come. It will be implemented over the next 175 years and activities will include site selection, licensing, construction, operations and — eventually — decommissioning.  

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.  

Two areas remain in the process to potentially host Canada’s deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario. Community members from both areas will also be in attendance throughout the week, where they will have the opportunity to learn more about the decommissioning process and environmental restoration and ask questions of the NWMO.  

Ms. Swami also spoke about the NWMO’s recent submission of an Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste to Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources for consideration. The strategy recommends approaches to address the gaps in waste disposal planning for all Canada’s radioactive waste — including waste from electricity generation and the production of medical isotopes.  

“This comprehensive strategy is the first of its kind for Canada and reflects what we heard is most important when considering how Canada’s radioactive waste is managed in years to come,” she said. “It is informed by more than two years of engagement with Canadians, Indigenous peoples and waste generators and owners, as well as detailed studies of both technical considerations and international best practices.”  

The NWMDER conference will continue throughout this week. Members of the nuclear sector will discuss the status and proposed future directions of technical, regulatory, environmental, social and economic aspects of radioactive waste management, decommissioning and environmental restoration for nuclear facilities.  
About the NWMO

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.
NWMO logo
the NWMO

The NWMO is a not-for profit organization established in 2002 by Canada's nuclear electricity producers in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA).

Sign up for NWMO news and updates

Subscribe and receive NWMO news, reports, updates and more delivered to your inbox.