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Minister’s Statement on the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s 2017 Annual Report

Canada’s nuclear industry is a key driver of innovation, provides tens of thousands of good jobs and is an important part of Canada’s growing non-emitting energy mix.

Finding solutions for the long-term management of radioactive waste is critical not only to the safety and environmental integrity of nuclear energy but also to maintaining public confidence in the industry as a part of Canada’s low-carbon future.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) plays a central role in these efforts. It is responsible for implementing Canada’s plan for managing nuclear fuel waste in a manner that is technically sound, environmentally responsible and economically feasible.

The NWMO’s 2017 Annual Report is an important and informative record of the organization’s work over the past year to advance Canada’s plan for the long-term management of spent nuclear fuel. 

The report describes the NWMO’s activities and achievements in community and government engagement, public outreach and education, research and technology development and international collaboration. It also highlights the NWMO’s extensive efforts to reach out to Indigenous communities to benefit from their partnership, knowledge and experience.

Throughout 2017, the NWMO continued to advance the process to identify a safe and suitable site to host a deep geological repository and centre of excellence for the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste produced in Canada. Five communities in three areas of Ontario continue to explore the possibility of hosting the facility.

The NWMO continues to build strong relationships with Canadians, including Indigenous peoples, throughout all phases of implementation. In fact, it is one of the first organizations in North America to implement an Indigenous knowledge policy to inform and guide its work. Bringing together western science and Indigenous knowledge plays a central role in shaping and implementing a plan that is responsible, safe and secure for Canadians.  

The Government of Canada believes strongly in the importance of the NWMO’s mandate and will continue to ensure that the organization fulfils its responsibilities under the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act as it implements Canada’s plan for nuclear fuel waste.

The Honourable Jim Carr, P.C., M.P.
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

June 26, 2018

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