Implementing Adaptive Phased Management 2023-27

The NWMO will:

  • Complete conceptual site-specific facility designs to support regulatory decision-making;
  • Initiate preliminary repository design work to complete a future construction licence application; and
  • Continue optimization of engineered-barrier system for construction and operations.
The deep geological repository is an internationally recognized approach, based on scientific consensus, for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel. Multiple engineered barriers will be emplaced in a stable rock formation to contain and isolate the used nuclear fuel deep underground.

As we move through the siting process and into the regulatory decision-making process, we will develop site-specific repository designs using data collected through borehole drilling and preliminary environmental baseline investigations. This work will support the site selection decision. Once a site has been selected, we will begin preliminary engineering at the selected site to support the preparation of regulatory submissions and assessments and achieve a future construction licence application.

We will continue to optimize our processes and techniques to enhance confidence in the strength of the engineered-barrier system design. We will also integrate the latest information from our ongoing research and development activities into our designs through interdisciplinary reviews, as part of our Technical Research Review Committee.

In the period from 2023 to 2027, the NWMO will also:

  • Maintain a prototype test and demonstration facility for engineered-barrier evaluations;
  • Continue to update cost estimate information for the project as required;
  • Support the preparation of the initial project description and assessments needed for the regulatory process;
  • Begin preliminary engineering for the selected site to support the future construction licence application; and
  • Arrange independent peer reviews of specific aspects and features of the repository and engineered-barrier design.