North American Member News December 2023


11 January 2024


Eileen Supko

Canada to Select Site for Spent Fuel Disposal in 2024

Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) plans to select a site for Canada’s deep geological repository (DGR) for spent fuel in 2024

Two sites are under consideration, the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario. The municipalities and First Nations are planning votes for next year, following many years of information gathering to assess the project and its possible impacts on the communities. The process has not been without conflict in the communities.

In order for the NWMO to be able to proceed with development of a DGR under its Adaptive Phased Management (APM) process, both the host municipality and First Nation in the area of either proposed site must confirm their willingness to host the repository. While some in the communities see the DGR project’s potential for creation of both direct and indirect jobs, others remain opposed to the project for a variety of reasons.

The NWMO is currently working on hosting agreements with the affected communities, in order to allow the communities to understand the terms of the agreements prior to voting on whether to proceed. Assuming that a site is selected in 2024, the NWMO will need to gain regulatory approval for DGR construction. The regulatory approval process is estimated to take approximately ten years, with an additional ten years for construction of the facility.

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