How we're governed

As the organization responsible for the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel, we have a strong governance structure in place.


The NWMO’s governance comprises the member organizations, the Board of Directors, and the Advisory Council. The NWMO is subject to the requirements of the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA) and oversight by the Minister of Natural Resources Canada.

Our implementation of a deep geological repository as part of Canada's plan will be regulated under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its associated regulations to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment, and to respect Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

A licensing decision by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on a deep geological repository can only be made after the successful completion of the impact assessment conducted under the Canadian Impact Assessment Act (2019).

All aspects of the NWMO’s work will meet or exceed all applicable regulatory standards and requirements for protecting the health, safety and security of people and the environment.

Member organizations

Ontario Power GenerationNew Brunswick Power Corporation and Hydro-Québec are the founding Members of the NWMO. The Membership Agreement and bylaws set out Member roles and responsibilities in supporting the objectives of the NFWA and the NWMO’s implementation mandate. The NWMO regularly briefs our member organizations.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for oversight of the organization and taking a leadership role in the development of the corporation’s strategic direction. Its members have the skills and experience needed to oversee the managerial, financial and operational activities associated with the long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

The member organizations appoint the Board of Directors.

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Advisory Council

The NFWA requires that the NWMO's Board of Directors appoints an Advisory Council to review and comment on our work as part of our triennial reports. The Board continues to ensure appointments remain consistent with the requirements of the NFWA, and take into account the range of expertise required to support the regional and local activity associated with site selection.
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Management system

The NWMO utilizes an integrated management system for activities supporting the long-term management of nuclear waste.  The NWMO maintains its management system to be compliant with Canadian and international standards for quality, environment, and health & safety.

The NWMO management system also satisfies the CSA N286-12 Management System Requirements for Nuclear Facilities, which includes nuclear waste facilities and builds upon international standards. The NWMO’s integrated management system ensures the organization has a strong foundation on which to implement our mission and values.

The focus on protecting people and the environment for generations to come fully aligns with the CSA N286-12 management principle that safety is the paramount consideration guiding our decisions and actions.

Independent technical reviews

The NWMO will continue to seek external expert review and comment on our technical program. As the technical program moves from research into design, fabrication and demonstration, the nature of the technical reviews will be more focused to the specific design aspects and features. The results of these reviews will help guide the technical program and inform NWMO stakeholders.

 Review groups

The NWMO will continue to seek opportunities for peer review of our work and to invite independent comment. The Adaptive Phased Management Geoscientific Review Group (APM-GRG) is an example. This will benefit program design and delivery, contribute to overall program quality, and help to enhance public confidence in the NWMO’s implementation plans and decision-making.
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The NWMO maintains high standards of reporting to demonstrate integrity, excellence, engagement, accountability, and transparency in the implementation of APM. The NWMO reports regularly on our progress, and especially in response to the advice of Canadians and the changing external environment.

The NFWA requires the NWMO to issue annual reports and triennial reports. These reports are submitted to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada and to the public at the same time. The Minister must table the reports in Parliament and issue a statement on each report.

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International commitments

The NWMO reports internationally on our progress at meetings of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (Joint Convention). Under the Joint Convention, Canada must demonstrate that it is meeting international commitments to manage radioactive waste and used nuclear fuel safely.

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Canada's plan

A collaborative approach
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A collaborative approach

International co-operation and research