Canada's Long-Term Plan for Used Nuclear Fuel

The deep geological repository is a network of underground tunnels and placement rooms for used nuclear fuel containers. It is designed to safely contain and isolate Canada's used nuclear fuel over the long term.

The Township of Huron-Kinloss is learning more about Canada's plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The plan requires that all of Canada’s used nuclear fuel be safely and securely isolated from people and the environment in a deep geological repository (DGR). The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is responsible for implementing this national infrastructure project estimated to cost $24 billion. This plan is also known as the Adaptive Phased Management Project.

The Township is one of five communities remaining in NWMO's Site Selection Process. This means Huron-Kinloss is being considered as a location to host the proposed DGR to safety store all of Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

The NWMO is expected to identify a single site by 2023. Once a site has been identified, additional technical studies will be required, and all regulatory requirements and approvals must be obtained through the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

The DGR is a network of underground tunnels and placement rooms for used nuclear fuel containers. It is designed to safely contain and isolate Canada's used nuclear fuel over the long term. A conceptual layout for a repository would require an underground footprint of about two kilometres by three kilometres (about 600 hectares or 1,500 acres).

The Township of Huron-Kinloss is learning more about Canada's plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The plan requires that all of Canada’s used nuclear fuel be safely and securely isolated from people and the environment in a deep geological repository (DGR). The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is responsible for implementing this national infrastructure project estimated to cost $24 billion. This plan is also known as the Adaptive Phased Management Project.

The Township is one of five communities remaining in NWMO's Site Selection Process. This means Huron-Kinloss is being considered as a location to host the proposed DGR to safety store all of Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

The NWMO is expected to identify a single site by 2023. Once a site has been identified, additional technical studies will be required, and all regulatory requirements and approvals must be obtained through the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

The DGR is a network of underground tunnels and placement rooms for used nuclear fuel containers. It is designed to safely contain and isolate Canada's used nuclear fuel over the long term. A conceptual layout for a repository would require an underground footprint of about two kilometres by three kilometres (about 600 hectares or 1,500 acres).

  • CNSC to speak to Huron-Kinloss Nuclear Waste Community Advisory Committee at November Meeting

    24 days ago
    November 2019 flyer

    Join us on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 for the final Nuclear Waste Community Advisory Committee meeting this year. The meeting will begin at 7pm at the Township of Huron-Kinloss Office in Council Chambers, located at 21 Queen St., Ripley.

    We will learn more about radiation protection, licensing and compliance and regulatory expectations for the management of used nuclear fuel from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

    Join us on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 for the final Nuclear Waste Community Advisory Committee meeting this year. The meeting will begin at 7pm at the Township of Huron-Kinloss Office in Council Chambers, located at 21 Queen St., Ripley.

    We will learn more about radiation protection, licensing and compliance and regulatory expectations for the management of used nuclear fuel from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

  • Committee hears from Finnish company about the world's first DGR for used nuclear fuel

    about 1 month ago

    Huron Kinloss and South Bruce recently welcomed Mika Pohjonen from Posiva to share Finland’s journey from approval to construction of the worlds’ first deep geological repository (DGR) for spent nuclear fuel.

    Posiva is the Finnish counterpart to the NWMO. They are also responsible for the safe, final disposal of used nuclear fuel in a manner that protects people and the environment.

    Posiva's program was initiated 40 years ago, beginning their process in 1978. After a 17-year site selection process, Olkiluoto Island, which is about 220 kilometres northwest of Helsinki, was chosen to host the DGR for used nuclear fuel from...

    Huron Kinloss and South Bruce recently welcomed Mika Pohjonen from Posiva to share Finland’s journey from approval to construction of the worlds’ first deep geological repository (DGR) for spent nuclear fuel.

    Posiva is the Finnish counterpart to the NWMO. They are also responsible for the safe, final disposal of used nuclear fuel in a manner that protects people and the environment.

    Posiva's program was initiated 40 years ago, beginning their process in 1978. After a 17-year site selection process, Olkiluoto Island, which is about 220 kilometres northwest of Helsinki, was chosen to host the DGR for used nuclear fuel from Posiva's two owner utilities. Posiva was granted the first construction licence in the world for a DGR in 2015 and began construction shortly thereafter in 2016.

    “Posiva is now in full speed construction of the encapsulation plant and first final disposal tunnel,” said Mr. Phjonen. “We are planning to submit the operating license application in 2021 and begin operation in 2025.”

    “Having Mr. Pohjonen visit the CLCs in South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss provides a valuable opportunity for information and knowledge sharing,” said Paul Austin, Relationship Manager at the NWMO. “As the communities continue to explore Canada’s Plan for used nuclear fuel, having experts from other countries share their experience gives the NWMO and our communities the opportunity to learn from other countries.”

    Mr. Pohjonen also toured Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) rock core storage facility and learned about the rock in Bruce County and OPG’s plans for a DGR for low and intermediate level waste. Finland’s two final disposal repositories for low and intermediate level waste have been in operation for over 20 years.

    The NWMO is currently collaborating with Posiva on a large-scale research project – Full-Scale In-Situ System Test – that will inform nuclear waste management efforts around the world. The NWMO works with specialists from Posiva and others around the world to ensure Canada’s plan continues to be based on and benefit from the best science.

    To get more information of Posiva's project, see www.posiva.fi or search for "Posiva final disposal" in Youtube.


  • Successful 2019 Huron-Kinloss Nuclear Waste Management Symposium

    about 1 month ago
    Img 6518

    The 2019 Huron-Kinloss Nuclear Waste Management Symposium was a great success, with over 50 residents spending the morning learning more about Canada's plan for the safe-long term management of used nuclear fuel.

    The Symposium focused

    on four key topics of the project which included: Geology in Huron-Kinloss, Transportation of Used Nuclear Fuel; Safety of the Deep Geological Repository; the Land Access Process in Huron-Kinloss. These presentations can be found on the Township of Huron-Kinloss website.

    The 2019 Huron-Kinloss Nuclear Waste Management Symposium was a great success, with over 50 residents spending the morning learning more about Canada's plan for the safe-long term management of used nuclear fuel.

    The Symposium focused

    on four key topics of the project which included: Geology in Huron-Kinloss, Transportation of Used Nuclear Fuel; Safety of the Deep Geological Repository; the Land Access Process in Huron-Kinloss. These presentations can be found on the Township of Huron-Kinloss website.
  • Huron-Kinloss Nuclear Waste Community Advisory Committee Meeting

    3 months ago

    Join us on Tuesday, October 1 for the Nuclear Waste Community Advisory Committee meeting beginning at 7pm in Council Chambers, located at 21 Queen St., Ripley.

    The Committee is looking forward to hearing from Professor Josh D. Neufeld is a Microbial Ecologist in the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo. He studies microbial diversity in order to understand how microbial communities interact with each other within aquatic, terrestrial, and host-associated environments.

    Join us on Tuesday, October 1 for the Nuclear Waste Community Advisory Committee meeting beginning at 7pm in Council Chambers, located at 21 Queen St., Ripley.

    The Committee is looking forward to hearing from Professor Josh D. Neufeld is a Microbial Ecologist in the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo. He studies microbial diversity in order to understand how microbial communities interact with each other within aquatic, terrestrial, and host-associated environments.

  • NWMO specialist shares findings on long-term repository safety

    4 months ago
    Img 5646

    Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel calls for used fuel to be contained and isolated in a deep geological repository, in an area with informed and willing hosts. Understanding how a deep geological repository will respond over extended periods of time is key to our work and involves the publication of a series of case studies focused on long-term repository performance.

    Dr. Erik Kremer, Section Manager of Siting Safety Assessment at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), recently shared findings from the Seventh Case Study: Postclosure Safety Assessment of a Used Fuel Repository in...

    Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel calls for used fuel to be contained and isolated in a deep geological repository, in an area with informed and willing hosts. Understanding how a deep geological repository will respond over extended periods of time is key to our work and involves the publication of a series of case studies focused on long-term repository performance.

    Dr. Erik Kremer, Section Manager of Siting Safety Assessment at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), recently shared findings from the Seventh Case Study: Postclosure Safety Assessment of a Used Fuel Repository in Sedimentary Rock, at the July meetings of the Nuclear Waste Committees in Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce.

    “The Seventh Case Study illustrates how repository safety is assessed over the very long term. The case study considers normal evolution and disruptive scenarios, and concludes that a repository could be safely sited in the sedimentary rock formations found in southern Ontario,” said Dr. Kremer, whose day-to-day work focuses on the long-term safety of a deep geological repository.

    These reports build on a series of postclosure safety assessments illustrating the long-term performance and safety of different repository designs within various geological settings. The Seventh Case Study builds on existing work, including the Sixth Case Study focused on crystalline rock.

    “Gaining a better understanding of safety, particularly as it relates to the geology in our area, is really important for those of us actively engaged in learning about the project,” said David Grant, member of the Huron-Kinloss Nuclear Waste Community Advisory Committee. “It was great to have members of the community attend and ask questions of Dr. Kremer – this helps further local understanding of the project.”

    Postclosure safety assessments help build confidence in the long-term performance of a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

    “A deep geological repository must be able to safely isolate used nuclear fuel over very long periods of time. These case studies help us to understand and illustrate the long-term safety of a repository,” added Dr. Kremer. “They also provide a platform for discussion with our siting communities, their regional partners, the regulatory authorities, and other experts in the field, as well as with repository programs all around the world.”

    The NWMO collaborates with organizations in Canada and around the world to bring their expertise together and remain consistent with international best practice. Ultimately, the safety case will be subject to peer review, both national and international, and an independent regulatory review by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

    The NWMO is on track to identify a single, preferred site for a deep geological repository by 2023, in an area with informed and willing hosts. When the NWMO applies for a licence, the application to the CNSC will include a safety case, which will include results of site-specific geoscience investigations, a site-specific repository design, and a comprehensive safety assessment.

    No licence will be granted until the NWMO can demonstrate that the health and safety of the public, the workers, and the environment are protected.

  • Huron-Kinloss and NWMO Land Access Process

    4 months ago

    The next step for Huron-Kinloss in the site selection process is the Land Access Process. The NWMO is asking landowners to sign option agreements to access sufficient land for a potential repository site.

    Optioning the land will provide the NWMO with two important assurances: the knowledge it could acquire sufficient land for the repository in the future and the ability to complete its site investigation work.

    The NWMO is committed to protecting farmland and minimizing disruption to local businesses. The NWMO will only need to access small areas of the optioned lands to conduct its studies and we expect most,...

    The next step for Huron-Kinloss in the site selection process is the Land Access Process. The NWMO is asking landowners to sign option agreements to access sufficient land for a potential repository site.

    Optioning the land will provide the NWMO with two important assurances: the knowledge it could acquire sufficient land for the repository in the future and the ability to complete its site investigation work.

    The NWMO is committed to protecting farmland and minimizing disruption to local businesses. The NWMO will only need to access small areas of the optioned lands to conduct its studies and we expect most, if not all, of the ongoing operations will be able to continue.

    There are currently five potential siting areas engaged in the site selection process – no site has been selected.


  • Safely Managing Used Nuclear Fuel in Canada

    4 months ago

    During a three-year study, the public identified a number of key objectives that it considered essential to the project. These included public health and safety, protection of workers, and protection of the environment.

    During a three-year study, the public identified a number of key objectives that it considered essential to the project. These included public health and safety, protection of workers, and protection of the environment.