Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO)

Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO)

Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO)

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is responsible for designing and implementing Canada`s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The plan, known as Adaptive Phased Management, requires used fuel to be contained and isolated in a deep geological repository. It also calls for a comprehensive process to select an informed and willing host for the project. The NWMO is a not-for profit organization established in 2002 by Canada’s nuclear electricity producers in accordance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA). Our team is made up of some of Canada`s leading experts in fields related to nuclear waste management. We also collaborate with experts from across Canada and the world to ensure our work benefits from the best available research and experience.

Company details

22 St. Clair Avenue East, Sixth Floor , Toronto , ON M4T 2S3 Canada
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Business Type:
Nonprofit organization (NPO)
Industry Type:
Nuclear Power
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:

The founding members of the NWMO are Ontario Power Generation (OPG), New Brunswick Power Corporation, and Hydro-Québec (HQ). These organizations, along with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), are mandated to fund our operations.

The NWMO is committed to proceeding in stages in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner. We take the time needed to collaboratively plan and confirm each step through an ongoing dialogue with the public.

The site selection process began in May 2010 and will take many years to complete. This will be followed by an estimated 10-year period to construct the facility. Subsequent phases involve the transport, handling, and placement of used nuclear fuel, followed by an extended period of monitoring.

Since 2009, the NWMO has provided technical expertise in support of Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) efforts to obtain regulatory approvals for a proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR).
OPG is the owner, licensee and operator of the proposed DGR. If approved, it will be constructed at the Bruce nuclear site in the Municipality of Kincardine and is designed to accommodate low and intermediate level radioactive waste. The site will not accommodate used nuclear fuel.
The NWMO's work on behalf of OPG recognizes our unique technical expertise in repositories. It is separate from our mandate to implement Adaptive Phased Management (APM), Canada's plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The work with OPG will further enhance our organizational capacity and our ability to implement APM. 
About the NWMO's Support
The NWMO developed the preliminary design for the DGR. We completed extensive studies in the areas of geoscience, design and engineering, safety assessment, and environmental assessment. This work, documented in 46 DGR Reports, was done in support of OPG’s 2011 licence application.
From 2011 to 2014, along with OPG and contractors, we responded to 585 information requests and participated in three public information sessions. NWMO experts also provided presentations and answered questions during the 33 days of public hearings for the DGR in 2013 and 2014.
Pending the successful receipt of a site preparation and construction licence, the NWMO will manage the design and construction phases of the project. Once complete, OPG will assume the operation of the DGR.