- Partner News
- Media Releases
- Mainstream News
From: Natural Resources Canada
October 5, 2023
The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the safe, effective and environmentally sound management of radioactive waste. Protecting the health and safety of people and the environment is a core responsibility that the Government of Canada takes seriously, particularly with regard to the sound management of generated radioactive waste.
Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, has released a public statement signalling the Government of Canada’s acceptance of the Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste (the Strategy) developed by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and associated partners.
On June 30, 2023, following release of the modernized Policy for Radioactive Waste and Decommissioning for Canada (the Policy), the NWMO submitted the Strategy for ministerial review and consideration. It outlines an integrated, national plan for the long-term management of all of Canada’s radioactive waste, specifically in subsectors where disposal planning can be integrated into existing plans, such as with low-level radioactive waste. The Strategy is the next step to implementing the principles outlined in the Policy and complements ongoing plans, such as Canada’s plan for the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste.
This Strategy reflects international best practices and is the result of over two years of extensive engagement with Indigenous Peoples and Canadians across the country. With this clear and sound Strategy, waste owners must continue to work together to implement the recommendations and develop more detailed waste management plans, with oversight from the federal government and in line with international standards. Waste owners will also work to update the Strategy, by 2028, to ensure it reflects progress in planning and implementation and advancements in science and technology.
Canada is a world leader in the development and deployment of nuclear technologies. Nuclear energy is non-emitting and has been recognized by the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a vital energy solution to reduce emissions from fossil fuel alternatives while ensuring reliable baseload power. Canada is working with international partners to ensure nuclear technology is responsibly developed within the context of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
“As Canada advances toward a low-carbon future, nuclear energy will continue to be an important contributor of reliable, non-emitting power for millions of Canadians. Canada is a global leader in the nuclear sector, including in the safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive waste. The release of the Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste is an important step in the continued responsible management of Canada’s nuclear sector.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
“Canada’s leadership in nuclear technology creates a responsibility for the management of the waste generated. We have heard clearly that Canadians and Indigenous Peoples want action taken now, rather than leaving this to future generations. The NWMO is proud to be developing world-class expertise here in Canada that the rest of the world is looking to as they address the same challenges. We look forward to bringing this expertise to our role in implementing this strategy, including the next step of developing a consent-based siting process for a repository for intermediate-level and non-fuel, high-level waste.”
President and CEO, Nuclear Waste Management Organization
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Canada