Implementing Adaptive Phased Management 2024-28

A Centre of Expertise will be established at or near the repository location, after the site is selected. The specific location will be determined in collaboration with the host communities. It will highlight the NWMO’s commitment to sustainability, demonstrating environmental responsibility and resource efficiency throughout its design and operation.

The centre will also become a hub for knowledge sharing across Canada and internationally, and a focal point for those living in the area to learn about the project through public viewing galleries and interactive displays. It may also serve as a hub for sharing Indigenous Knowledge, culture, history and traditions.

The design and use of the centre will be developed collaboratively with those living in the area, including First Nation and Métis communities. In 2022, the NWMO began working with local communities to develop a vision for the centre in a manner that aligns with their requirements and aspirations. This visioning process and continued dialogue around community interests for the facility will continue in the selected siting area, supporting ongoing dialogue and the unique opportunities the centre could provide.

For the NWMO’s needs, the centre will initially be used to support the continued site characterization work related to technical safety, ongoing education and dialogue, and community well-being.

It will be home to active technical and social research, as well as technological demonstration programs, with contributions from scientists and other experts in a wide variety of disciplines from both the NWMO and around the world. An engineering test facility will be located within the Centre of Expertise to continue the development of materials and equipment to be used in the repository, and to support the construction and operation of the facility in the future.

The detailed design will begin once the site is selected in 2024, with tendering for construction to follow. The NWMO’s mobilization plans, including moving staff to the selected siting area, will also support the Centre of Expertise. Communities will be engaged throughout the programming, design and other steps up to and beyond the Centre of Expertise’s grand opening.

This artist rendering shows one possible design for a Centre of Expertise in the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area, based on early community input.

This artist rendering shows one possible design for a Centre of Expertise in the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area, based on early community input.