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The NWMO’s 2023 annual report shows movement towards site selection with meaningful collaboration

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The NWMO’s 2023 annual report shows movement towards site selection with meaningful collaboration

 

 

 

 

 

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has published our 2023 annual report, Creating the future together. The report looks at our accomplishments over the last year as we implement Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel and begin planning for other types of radioactive waste.

 

“This year, we continued to collaborate in Canada and internationally, and use our leading technical expertise to further build our understanding ahead of a key milestone we expect to achieve in 2024: selecting a site for Canada’s deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel,” said Laurie Swami, President and CEO of the NWMO.

 

“Looking back on 2023, our progress demonstrates not only that our work is on the right track, but also that we are ready for what is next: a new phase of Canada’s plan for used nuclear fuel, and taking on an important new mandate that closes the remaining gaps on nuclear waste management.”

 

In accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act, the report was submitted to Canada’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, on March 26, 2024. As part of the open and transparent process required by the act, the report will be tabled in Parliament in the coming weeks.

 

Here are some key accomplishments from 2023, as outlined in the annual report:

  • We took steps towards developing hosting agreements with communities in the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario, as they determined how to decide and demonstrate willingness. These agreements outline roles, investments and expectations that we will have for each other once the site is selected.
  • We strengthened important partnerships with international counterparts, including signing a new Statement of Intent to Co-operate on Used Nuclear Fuel Management with the United States Department of Energy and renewing a multi-year co-operation agreement with Andra in France. These partnerships are an incredible opportunity to share knowledge and best practices with international leaders in nuclear waste management and learn from them in return.
  • We released our Water Statement, which reflects on the importance of water, our ongoing commitment to protect it, and the role this commitment plays in the NWMO’s Reconciliation journey. It was created with input from Indigenous peoples and aligns with Indigenous Knowledge. Similarly, we released our Sustainability Statement, which acknowledges our organization’s commitment to a sustainable future.
  • We reached a key milestone in our work on Canada’s Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste, a comprehensive strategy that closes the gaps in disposal of all Canada’s radioactive waste from current electricity generation and the production of life-saving medical isotopes, with an eye to the future.
  • The federal government accepted the NWMO’s recommendations, which we developed following two years of engagement with Canadians, Indigenous peoples, waste generators and other key members of the public.
  • The endorsement from the government sets in motion a new mandate for the NWMO to implement a deep geological repository for intermediate-level and non-fuel high-level radioactive waste.

 

In addition to the 2023 annual report, the NWMO has released our latest implementation plan, which outlines our planned activities for the next five years (2024-28). The implementation plan is regularly assessed and updated based in part on public input, and we want to hear from you! This is your chance to send us your thoughts on our implementation plan by filling out our online survey, available until June 7, 2024.

 

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.

 

Posted March 27, 2024

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