Minister’s Statement on the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s 2015 Annual Report

The 2015 Annual Report of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is an important and informative record of the organization’s work over the past year to advance Canada’s plan for the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste.

The report describes the NWMO’s activities and achievements in community and government engagement, public outreach and education, research and technology development and international collaboration. It also highlights the NWMO’s extensive efforts to reach out to Indigenous communities to benefit from their partnership, knowledge and experience.

Throughout 2015, the NWMO continued to advance the process to identify a safe and suitable site to host a deep geologic repository and centre of excellence for the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste produced in Canada. Nine Ontario communities continue to explore the possibility of hosting the facility.

The NWMO also continued its collaborative science and technology program. This effort included participation by NWMO’s own researchers in domestic and international projects as well as supporting research projects involving 15 Canadian universities in areas such as materials, geology, and hydrogeochemistry.

The public’s confidence in the safe and secure transportation of nuclear fuel waste is critical. The NWMO took steps to engage the public on this issue during the year. It will be important that the NWMO continue to engage with communities and other interested groups on this important subject.

Nuclear energy makes a valuable contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and will continue to do so for decades to come. Nuclear-generated electricity accounts for more than 15 percent of the electricity consumed in Canada and more than 50 percent of Ontario’s electricity. Implementing Canada’s plan for the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste will be an important element in maintaining and building public confidence in nuclear energy and the nuclear industry.

The Government of Canada believes strongly in the importance of the NWMO’s mandate, and will continue to ensure that the organization fulfills its responsibilities under the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act as it implements Canada’s plan for nuclear fuel waste.

The Honourable Jim Carr
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources