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).

  • Huron-Kinloss Nuclear Waste Community Advisory Committee Meeting

    25 days ago

    Join us on Tuesday, September 3 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 Mika Pohjonen, Managing Director of Posiva Solutions

    Oy - Finland’s nuclear waste management organization. Mika will provide an overview of Finland’s nuclear waste management program and their deep geological repository facility.

    Join us on Tuesday, September 3 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 Mika Pohjonen, Managing Director of Posiva Solutions

    Oy - Finland’s nuclear waste management organization. Mika will provide an overview of Finland’s nuclear waste management program and their deep geological repository facility.
  • NWMO specialist shares findings on long-term repository safety

    about 2 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

    2 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

    2 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.