Implementing Adaptive Phased Management 2024-28

The NWMO will:

  • Complete conceptual site-specific facility designs to support regulatory decision-making;
  • Initiate preliminary repository design work to support construction licence application; and
  • Continue optimization of the engineered-barrier system, based on research and international experience, to support construction and operations of the deep geological repository.

The deep geological repository is an internationally recognized approach for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel, based on scientific consensus. 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 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 to achieve a future construction licence application.

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

In the period from 2024 to 2028, the NWMO will also:

  • Maintain a 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, Used Fuel Packaging Plant and engineered-barrier design.