Sound governance and accountability
Board of Directors
The NFWA requires that the Board of Directors appoint an Advisory Council to review and comment on the NWMO’s work. The council meets regularly with the NWMO’s senior management, closely following the organization’s plans and activities, and providing ongoing counsel and advice.
Advisory Council members represent a broad range of expertise, including engineering, community engagement, public affairs, environment, law, sustainable development, Indigenous relations, Indigenous Knowledge and community-based research. Members of the council are knowledgeable in a range of topics, including nuclear waste management issues, and experienced in working with citizens and communities on a range of public policy issues.
Council of Knowledge Holders (formerly the Council of Elders and Youth)
The Council of Knowledge Holders is an independent advisory body made up of First Nation and Métis Elders and youth. It meets regularly throughout the year and provides counsel to the NWMO on how to align with Indigenous Knowledge in implementing the Adaptive Phased Management project. Additionally, the council provides advice on issues that could enhance the development and maintenance of good relations with First Nation and Métis communities and organizations.
Integrated management system
The NWMO uses an integrated management system for activities supporting the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The NWMO maintains our management system to be compliant with Canadian and international standards for quality, environment, and health and safety.
The NWMO management system also satisfies the CSA N286-12, Management System Requirements for Nuclear Facilities, which includes nuclear waste facilities and builds on international standards.
The NWMO’s integrated management system ensures the organization has a strong foundation for implementing our mission and values. The focus on protecting people and the environment for generations to come fully aligns with the CSA N286-12 management principle that safety is the paramount consideration guiding our decisions and actions.
Consistent with recommendations from our Advisory Council, the NWMO will continue to seek external expert review of and comment on our technical program. As the program continues to move from research into design, fabrication and demonstration, the reviews are increasingly focused on specific design aspects and features. These reviews ensure the science is sound, contribute to the design and overall program quality, and help enhance public confidence in the NWMO’s implementation plan and decision-making. A number of external committees have been established to review the NWMO’s work:
- Municipal Forum;
- Geoscience Review Group;
- Environmental Review Group; and
- Site Selection Review Group.
In addition to these formal peer-review groups, the NWMO has also created advisory groups and community forums on an as-needed basis to receive external input, guidance and expertise for the project. Peer review is also often incorporated directly in third-party technical work scopes and managed as part of the contracted work. Independent review is further achieved by regularly publishing technical research and results in scientific journals and at conferences.
The NWMO maintains high standards for reporting to demonstrate safety, integrity, excellence, collaboration, accountability and transparency in the implementation of the project. We report regularly on our progress, especially in response to the advice of Canadians and Indigenous peoples, and the evolving environment.
The NFWA requires us to issue annual and triennial reports. In each case, reports must be submitted to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the public at the same time. The minister tables each report in Parliament and issues a statement on it.