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Inventory of radioactive waste in Canada

The Government of Canada collects and compiles inventory information and data from waste owners and producers and publishes the data in a triennial inventory report. This inventory report provides an overview of the production, accumulation and projections of radioactive waste in Canada.

Projections are provided for three years in the future and to the end of 2050, when all existing nuclear generating stations in Canada are either closed or nearing the end of their operational lives. For the 2019 Inventory Summary Report, projections are also provided for 2100, as all existing nuclear generating stations are expected to be fully decommissioned by that date.

Due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the next Inventory Report will be developed in 2024, covering the period from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2023.

How much radioactive waste does Canada have?

Radioactive waste produced over time across Canada as of December 31, 2019.

Waste Type Volume (Cubic Meters) % of total
Low-Level 2,524,670 98.9%
Intermediate-Level 15,681 0.6%
High-Level 12,718 0.5%
TOTAL 2,553,069 100%

Uranium mill tailings are recorded by mass, in tonnes, since this is how the mining industry commonly tracks and reports materials.

Waste Type Mass (tonnes)
Uranium Mine and Mill Tailings 218 million
Uranium Waste Rock 167 million
TOTAL 385 million

Canada’s Radioactive Waste Inventory Report

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