Nuclear Waste Management Organization (Canada)
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) of Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 was established in 2002 under the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA) to investigate approaches for managing Canada’s used nuclear fuel
Spent nuclear fuel
Spent nuclear fuel, occasionally called used nuclear fuel, is nuclear fuel that has been irradiated in a nuclear reactor...

. Currently, nuclear power plants
Nuclear power in Canada
Nuclear power in Canada produces about 15% of Canada's electricity as of 2009.-History:The nuclear industry in Canada dates back to 1942 when a joint British-Canadian laboratory, the Montreal Laboratory, was set up in Montreal, Quebec, under the administration of the National Research Council of...

 are operating in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

The Act required Canadian electricity generating companies which produce used nuclear fuel to establish a waste management organization to provide recommendations to the Government of Canada on the long-term management of used nuclear fuel.
The legislation also required the waste owners to establish segregated trust funds to finance the long term management of the used fuel. The Act further authorized the Government of Canada
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada, formally Her Majesty's Government, is the system whereby the federation of Canada is administered by a common authority; in Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council...

to decide on the approach. The government’s choice will then be implemented by the NWMO, subject to all of the necessary regulatory approvals.

In 2005, after a three-year study, the NWMO recommended Adaptive Phased Management (APM). In 2007, the Canadian government accepted NWMO's recommendation.

Adaptive Phased Management is both a technical method and a management system, with an emphasis on adaptability. Technically, it is centralized containment and isolation of used nuclear fuel in a deep geological repository. The management system involves realistic, manageable phases – each marked by explicit decision points with continuing participation by interested Canadians. It is flexible, allowing for go, no-go decisions at each stage to take advantage of new knowledge or changing societal priorities. Adaptive Phased Management provides an option for shallow underground storage at the central site if some or all of the used fuel needs to be moved before the deep repository is available. It also provides for continuous monitoring throughout implementation and for retrievability for an extended period.
Designing the Process for Selecting a Site

On May 4, 2009 the NWMO issued a discussion document outlining a proposed process for identifying an informed and willing community to host the deep geological repository. The $16 to $24-billion national infrastructure project will involve development of the repository and will include the creation of a centre of expertise.

The Proposed Process for Selecting a Site is designed to be responsive to direction provided by Canadians who participated in dialogues with the NWMO during 2008. These interested individuals and organizations said they wanted to be sure, above all, that the selected site is safe and secure for people and the environment, now and in the future, and that the process for choosing the site is grounded in values and objectives that Canadians hold important.

The discussion document sets out scientific and technical requirements that will guide selection of an appropriate site to ensure safety. It describes implementation through a partnership with an informed, willing community, which fosters well-being and sustainability. And it outlines proposed steps through which interested communities would be able to learn more as they consider their potential interest in hosting this project.

The NWMO is committed to taking into account the views of all interested Canadians at each stage of its implementation. Before it engages communities interested in learning more about this important project, the organization wants to know that the process it is proposing to identify an informed and willing host is open, transparent, fair and inclusive. Input received during public dialogues will be used to refine and finalize the process for site selection. Site selection will not commence in 2009; it will begin after the process for site selection has been confirmed and finalized.
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