Canada Modernizes Radioactive Waste and Decommissioning Policy

Natural Resources Canada

March 27, 2023 Ottawa, Ontario Natural Resources Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to the safe, effective and environmentally sound management of radioactive waste. Protecting the health and safety of Canadians and the environment is the government’s top priority when it comes to nuclear energy and radioactive waste. Canada already has a robust framework in place; however, we must keep pace with evolving views and technology development.

That is why the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, is releasing the modernized Policy for Radioactive Waste and Decommissioning (the Policy)[1] [2] for Canada, which ensures the safe management of radioactive waste continues to align with international standards and best practices that reflect the values and principles of Canadians. The full text of the Policy will be accessible online in the coming days: Public consultations and engagements (

This final Policy is the result of more than two years of extensive and active engagement with Indigenous Peoples, interested Canadians, experts, waste generators and owners, and other levels of government. In February 2022, the Government of Canada shared the draft Policy for public comment and incorporated feedback in finalizing the modernized Policy.

This modernized Policy significantly elaborates on the original Canada’s Radioactive Waste Policy Framework (1996) and affirms Canada’s continued commitment to reconciliation. It also highlights the importance of recognizing Indigenous rights and knowledge, engaging early and continuously, building capacity and working together in partnership on radioactive waste management and decommissioning projects. The Policy also commits to ensuring alignment with, and supporting, the government’s implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Policy also includes measures that support an integrated strategy for Canada’s radioactive waste and the importance of considering future generations when making decisions.

Modernizing the 1996 Radioactive Waste Policy to the new Policy for Radioactive Waste and Decommissioning is critical for the government to continue to meet international best practices, guidelines and standards based on the best available science while continuing to ensure that Canada’s radioactive waste is safely managed, including waste from emerging technologies such as small modular reactors (SMRs).

As Canada combats climate change through the deployment of non-emitting technologies and natural solutions, the Government of Canada is implementing the Policy for Radioactive Waste and Decommissioning, and radioactive waste management practices, in a manner that reflects the values, voices and diverse perspectives across the country, including those of Indigenous Peoples.

Nuclear power is an important energy solution that provides affordable non-emitting energy to communities as Canadians move toward a net-zero electricity system by 2035. Nuclear power creates jobs and economic opportunities across Canada while displacing fossil fuels domestically and globally.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.