EES Departmental Seminar: Confidence in safety

Dr. Richard Crowe and Dr. Alexander Blyth
Canada's Nuclear Waste Management Organization

Title: Confidence in Safety

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is presently in a multi-year process of identifying a safe site for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel in an area with informed and willing hosts. This is consistent with plans in other countries with nuclear power programs, including Finland, Sweden, France and Switzerland, which have sites for their deep geological repositories for nuclear fuel waste.
The fundamental safety objective of the project is to protect humans and the environment, including water, from the effects of radioactive or hazardous substances present in the used fuel. The used fuel radioactivity naturally decreases with time. The deep geological repository, including engineered and natural barriers, provides long-term containment and isolation; in particular while this natural radioactivity decay occurs.
Previous discussions and studies have identified the Revell Site in northwestern Ontario and the South Bruce Site in southern Ontario as candidate repository sites. Municipalities, First Nations and Métis communities in both siting areas are working with the NWMO as part of the site selection process. This presentation focuses on the Revell Site. It summarizes the results as of mid-2023 indicating that this site would be suitable from a technical perspective for hosting a repository. It is intended to support public discussion around site selection.
This work is part of a larger site assessment process. Ongoing and future technical work will include further site studies, design development and safety analyses to conUirm and extend the results to date. These would ultimately be presented to Canadian federal regulators for an Impact Assessment and a series of Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) licence applications.

Dr. Alexander Blyth is a professional geologist with a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo, Canada. He has over 30 years of experience in hydrogeology and geochemistry in Canada, Finland, Sweden, and Australia. He is currently the Manager, Geoscience Research & Development at the NWMO where he is involved in the Adaptive Phased Management program, the government of Canada’s plan for long-term containment and isolation of used nuclear fuel.

Dr. Richard Crowe is a Senior Scientist within the NWMO. He has a PhD in Geology from the University of Toronto and over 15 years of experience in rock rheology and Uluid dynamics in Great Britain, Spain, Canada and Turkey. He currently manages the NWMO’s seismicity programs and is also the lead author for the Geosynthesis – the NWMO’s primary assessment of the long-term performance of its chosen site with respect to its geologic suitability, for implementation of Canada’s plan for long-term containment and isolation of used nuclear fuel.




Milligan Room - 8007 LSC


John Gosse
Phone: +1 902 494 2358