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Minister’s Statement on the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s 2017–2019 Triennial Report

Nuclear energy plays an important role in providing safe, reliable and affordable non-emitting power. It will also be critical to Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Simply put, without nuclear energy in our electricity mix, we risk failure in meeting our climate change targets.

Central to all of these considerations is the safe, long-term management of radioactive waste. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is leading the way through its Adaptive Phased Management approach and, as this report demonstrates, it is making good progress.

Aptly entitled Moving Towards Partnership, the 2017 to 2019 Triennial Report outlines the NWMO’s activities in community engagement over the last three years, as well as its strategic plan for the next five years. This plan includes working with Indigenous communities to conduct more detailed technical site evaluations and social studies as the NWMO chooses between two Ontario sites to house a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel.

Indigenous reconciliation is a core element of the NWMO’s ongoing work. Last year, the NWMO issued a Reconciliation Policy that set out how the organization will advance this essential goal. In particular, it committed to an annual implementation plan to measure and report its progress and to take a leadership role in contributing to reconciliation.

All of these actions confirm that Canada’s Adaptive Phased Management approach is at an important juncture where an open, cooperative and science-based approach will be central to the NWMO’s selection of a site for its deep geological repository by 2023.

I commend the NWMO for the role it is playing in the next wave of nuclear technology and for its contributions to ensuring Canada is net-zero by 2050.

I invite you to learn more about the NWMO’s work through this Report.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

June 24, 2020

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