Implementing Adaptive Phased Management 2023-27

The NWMO will:

  • Continue geoscientific investigations and environmental baseline monitoring at both sites; and
  • Begin additional geoscientific investigations and baseline data collection at the selected site.
The NWMO anticipates identifying a single, preferred site by fall 2024 and then moving into the regulatory decision-making process in 2025. At this point, initial site assessment activities have been completed with suitable information to inform site selection. After site selection, site characterization will continue at the selected site to support the regulatory decision-making process and inform geoscientific, engineering, environmental and safety assessments work that will be needed to apply for a construction licence.

To ensure we appropriately include Indigenous Knowledge, we seek guidance from local Knowledge Holders to incorporate applicable learnings into our planning and the execution of our studies. Local Indigenous experts ensure Indigenous protocols guide our field activities. To date, these activities have included cultural verification studies of potentially affected areas, including ceremony, and cultural awareness training for staff and contractors working in the field.

Our work with people in interested municipalities, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area continues. We encourage consideration of the potential environmental, social, cultural and economic effects of hosting the deep geological repository. Involving people in the broader siting areas ensures a wide range of potential benefits and impacts are considered as we move beyond site selection.

Canada’s plan is constantly being adapted to reflect the priorities of siting communities. While our timeline for identifying a site has shifted, the geoscience fieldwork activities have continued in both siting areas.

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

  • Continue field studies, including additional borehole drilling at the selected site, and consideration of factors identified by Indigenous Knowledge Holders to inform geoscientific, engineering, environmental and safety assessments;
  • Continue geoscientific studies to support the process to select a suitable site for hosting the deep geological repository in a safe location;
  • Engage communities on specific topics such as safety of people and the environment, project benefits and stewardship of the land; and
  • Provide support for regulatory decision-making and initiate additional site characterization studies to confirm the site is technically suitable for hosting the deep geological repository.