Since 2010, we have been engaged in a multi-year, community-driven process to identify a site where Canada's used nuclear fuel can be safely stored in an area with a willing host. The studies for each step completed to date can be found below.

For information about our current activities, see What We're Doing.

Step 3: Phase 1 - Desktop Studies and Engagement

In March 2013, Manitouwadge's Mayor and Council passed a resolution asking the NWMO to initiate a Preliminary Assessment of the community's potential suitability to host the project.

In December 2014, we completed the first phase of Preliminary Assessment (Step 3: Phase 1) of the site selection process in collaboration with Manitouwadge.

This phase involved:
  • Desktop studies that explored the potential to find a site that can safely and securely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel; and
  • Community learning and dialogue activities to build understanding about the project and to explore its potential to align with the community's long-term vision.
Based on studies to date, the community appeared to have strong potential for meeting strict safety and geotechnical requirements, and for the project to align with its long-term vision. The studies also identified a number of uncertainties to be further explored through more detailed study.

Step 2: Initial Screening

In September 2012, Manitouwadge's Mayor and Council passed a resolution requesting an initial screening of the community's potential suitability to host the project. This screening took us about three months to complete and involved a review based on readily available information about the geology of the community and vicinity.

We encouraged communities that passed the initial screening to begin learning more about the project. We provided an initial briefing and invited representatives to take a tour of an interim storage facility for used nuclear fuel. We also encouraged communities to meet with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to learn about the regulatory framework that will govern the project.

Manitouwadge's initial screening was completed in January 2013. It did not identify any obvious conditions that would exclude the Manitouwadge area from further consideration in the site selection process.

Step 1: NWMO Initiates the Process

The NWMO formally initiated the site selection process in May 2010.

The process began with a broad program to provide information, answer questions and build awareness about the project. Awareness-building activities are designed to continue throughout the site selection process.

In Step 1, we provided general information to those who requested it. We began assessment activities in Step 2: Initial Screening only after individual communities formally expressed an interest in learning more.