Implementing Adaptive Phased Management 2024-28

The NWMO will:

  • Continue geoscientific investigations and environmental baseline monitoring and analysis at both sites; and
  • Begin additional geoscientific investigations and baseline data collection and analysis 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 will have been completed with suitable information to select a site.

After site selection, site characterization will continue at the selected site to support the regulatory decision-making process and inform the geoscientific, engineering, environmental and safety assessments that will be needed to apply for a construction licence.  

To ensure we appropriately include Indigenous Knowledge, we will continue to 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.

Working with municipalities, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the siting areas, we continue to 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.

In the period from 2024 to 2028, 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 regulatory process and preliminary engineering for the future construction licence application;
  • Support the preparation of the initial project description and assessments needed for the regulatory process; and
  • Engage communities on specific topics such as safety of people and the environment, project benefits and stewardship of the land.