NWMO releases five-year plan and new survey

·2 min read

TORONTO – The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) released a five-year strategic plan and a community survey in March.

NWMO aims to update Canadians about the deep geological repository (DGR) with this plan, which they are proposing for either South Bruce or Ignace, Ontario.

The DGR will house all of Canada’s used nuclear fuel. The NWMO will make a final decision about the location in 2023.

The NWMO will move from the planning stage to building a repository in the next five years.

Once they have chosen the site, they will begin a new series of activities, according to a press release.

“Finalizing the safety case for the identified site, preparing to construct a Centre of Expertise, preparing for and participating in regulatory processes, and getting ready to move our operations to the site that is selected,” states the NWMO in the press release.

The press release explained that the implementation plan is a living document, “regularly assessed and strengthened with direction and guidance from communities, advances in science and technology, insight from Indigenous Knowledge, changes in societal values, and evolving public policy.”

The document includes a section specifically summarizing comments they received on last year’s plan.

The report said Canada’s plan, called Adaptive Phase Management (APM), is both a technical method and management system.

“The technical method involves developing a deep geological repository in a suitable rock formation to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel. The management system involves phased and adaptive decision making, supported by public engagement and continuous learning.”

The NWMO also invited Canadians and Indigenous peoples to fill out an online survey, saying, “public input is key to our work…and help shape our plans as they continue to progress.”

“Your feedback drives and informs all our work. Canada’s plan is your plan, and we need to hear from Canadians and Indigenous peoples to ensure we are on the right track,” Vice-President of Communications Lisa Frizzell said. “That is why we have made it easier than ever before for you to share your thoughts about our implementation plan with us. A new online survey is now live on our website, and we invite you to participate.”

The implementation plan is published alongside the NWMO’s 2020 annual report – Guided by science. Grounded in knowledge. Committed to partnership.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization implementing Canada’s plan to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.

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.

You can read the report and find the survey at www.nwmo.ca.

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times