Minister’s Statement on the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s 2014 to 2016 Triennial Report

The nuclear industry is an important contributor to Canada’s economy and a key component of our strategy for taking action on climate change and promoting clean technology.

The industry, which produces about 15 percent of Canada’s electricity and accounts for 30,000 jobs, is committed to the safe and secure long-term management of radioactive waste.  This is not only integral to the success of Canada’s nuclear industry, but central to the public’s acceptance of nuclear power as a key part of Canada’s low-carbon energy mix.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s (NWMO) is responsible for implementing Canada’s plan for managing nuclear fuel waste, known as Adaptive Phased Management, in a manner that is socially acceptable, technically sound, environmentally responsible, and economically feasible.

The NWMO’s Triennial Report, Progress Through Collaboration, describes the NWMO’s work with Canadian communities, governments and researchers, and international collaborators, over the past three years (2014-2016) to advance Canada’s plan for the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste.   

The NWMO and interested communities are moving forward together with ongoing oversight from governments and regulatory bodies to identify a safe site in a community willing to host a deep geological repository.  Once identified, it will be a key part of Canada’s long-term nuclear energy infrastructure.

The NWMO continues to build strong relationships with citizens and organizations, including Indigenous peoples, throughout all phases of implementation. I am proud to say it is one of the first organizations in North America to implement an Indigenous knowledge policy to inform and guide its work. Integrating western science and Indigenous knowledge plays a central role in shaping and implementing a plan that is safe, secure and socially acceptable for Canadians.   

The NWMO also continued to pursue an active science program.  Over the last three years, it has worked with over 20 Canadian universities and colleges and partnered with six international waste management organizations and five research institutions to ensure that Canada’s plan for nuclear fuel waste benefits from the best available scientific knowledge.

Public confidence in the safe and secure storage and transportation of nuclear fuel waste is critical. The Government of Canada is monitoring the activities of the NWMO to ensure that the organization fulfils its responsibilities under the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act.

I am confident that the NWMO will continue to advance its plan with an unwavering commitment to community engagement and partnership, transparency and science-based decision making.

Jim Carr
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources