The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) continued throughout 2020 to make progress on Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel despite the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
NWMO’s 2020 annual report – Guided by science. Grounded in knowledge. Committed to partnership. – was submitted on March 25, 2021, to Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan, in conformance with the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act. The report outlines how the NWMO pulled together to keep Canada’s plan on track and support the communities with which we work during this challenging period. It summarizes the NWMO’s activities throughout 2020 and provides an audited update on the organization’s finances.
“In our annual report, we outline how the NWMO has maintained strong momentum despite the challenges posed by the pandemic,” said NWMO President and CEO Laurie Swami. “Throughout 2020, we remained focused on moving towards partnership with municipal and Indigenous communities in our two remaining potential siting areas.”
The NWMO is committed to including Indigenous perspectives in all its work, and in 2020, maintained a commitment to incorporating Indigenous Knowledge and also continued to implement a Reconciliation Policy. For example, NWMO continued its ongoing commitment with staff receiving cultural awareness and Reconciliation training. Moreover, with so many students at home from school last spring, NWMO also held one online training session to which families of NWMO staff were invited to join.
NWMO has made significant strides in its technical work and began the engagement process for the eventual transportation of used nuclear fuel while starting the process of co-designing an environmental baseline monitoring program.
NWMO also made significant progress in developing and drafting safety case studies for the two potential sites that remain in the site selection process. Furthermore, they began preparations to ensure being ready to resume borehole drilling in Ignace later this spring and beginning it in South Bruce that same season.
About the NWMO
The NWMO is a not-for-profit organization implementing Canada’s plan to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.
Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2023, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Ignace area and South Bruce, both in Ontario.