Deep Geologic Repositories
A deep geological repository (DGR) is a facility constructed underground – usually at a depth of several hundred metres or more below the surface – in a stable rock formation to contain and isolate radioactive waste from the public and the environment for thousands of years.
Since 1978, the CNSC has been involved in independent research and assessment, including international collaboration, on the long-term management of used nuclear fuel in geological repositories.
- CNSC research on geological repositories
- CNSC timeline: "The science behind safe nuclear waste disposal: decades of research"
DGR status in Canada
Canada has a proposed long-term radioactive waste management initiative under way that may result in the construction of a deep geological repository.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization's (NWMO) Adaptive Phased Management approach, focuses on the long-term management of Canada's used nuclear fuel. The NWMO is currently conducting site selection for this DGR.
DGRs around the world
Low- and intermediate-level radioactive wastes are managed in many different ways around the world, and the process to store the wastes varies from country to country.
High-level radioactive waste DGRs are being considered in most countries with commercial nuclear power production. In Switzerland, an active site-selection process is currently under way. The site selections for France and Sweden have been made. Sweden's nuclear regulatory body is currently reviewing a licence application for construction. Finally, Finland's DGR project, the Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository, which obtained regulatory approval to begin construction in November 2015, is the first project to enter the construction phase.
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