About the NWMO

Message from the President and CEO: Celebrating momentum

Laurie Swami, President and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization

December 1, 2023

Toronto, ON

By the NWMO

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Laurie Swami, President and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization

As we end 2023, I am energized by the momentum Canada has built on nuclear waste management that we can now carry towards our next major milestone in 2024, selecting a site for our country’s deep geological repository. In the past few months alone, we have made important progress on Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel, as well as new endeavours to manage radioactive waste — all driven by a continued commitment to collaboration and partnership.

In October 2023, the Government of Canada endorsed the NWMO's recommendations for an Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste. More than two years of public engagement informed this comprehensive strategy, the first of its kind in Canada.

This progress on the ISRW is a testament to more than 20 years of expertise our organization has in engaging the public and implementing Canada’s plan for used nuclear fuel. Now, we are excited to take our learnings and apply them to a new part of our mandate focused on the safe management of intermediate-level and non-fuel high-level waste.

As both plans advance, the importance of protecting water for generations to come will remain at the core of what we do. To that end, we proudly shared our new Water Statement this fall. It reflects our shared commitment with Canadians and Indigenous peoples to protect our water, which will continue to be an essential part of our work in the decades ahead.

As I personally noted during this year’s Nuclear Waste Management, Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration conference, we will continue to collaborate with global partners to learn from their best practices and share our own as we chart a path forward for Canada’s plan. In fact, in the last six months alone, we have hosted multiple international visits to siting areas and the NWMO’s Discovery and Demonstration Centre in Oakville, Ont. Around the world, there is scientific consensus and momentum behind repository approaches that we look forward to building on in the years to come.

At home, we are continuing to engage with people in potential siting areas, scientific leaders and the nuclear community, and aligning with Indigenous Knowledge. We continued our partnership with the University of Guelph on environmental DNA research, which will inform the NWMO’s biodiversity studies and water protection actions.

Earlier this year, the NWMO’s experts also spent time sharing knowledge and answering questions during the South Bruce Nuclear Exploration Forum and Northwest Nuclear Exploration Event. These gatherings play an essential part in ensuring siting area residents can make an informed and willing choice about whether they are open to hosting Canada’s deep geological repository.

As demand for electricity continues to grow and there is renewed investment in nuclear energy, we have a commitment to safely manage the waste generated for the long term. As we head into 2024, I know our organization will continue to help Canada meet this responsibility head on and do so with our continued spirit of collaboration.
About the NWMO

Founded in 2002, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s intermediate and high-level radioactive waste, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.

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.
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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).

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