Policies and regulations

19.1.1 Radioactive waste (RAW) policy

The Government of Canada has policies, legislation and responsible organi­zations that ensure safe management of radioactive waste in Canada. The Government of Canada’s Policy Framework for Radioactive Waste consists of a set of principles governing the institutional and financial arrangements for management of radioactive waste (Natural Resources Canada, 1996). A key principle within the Policy Framework is that waste generators and owners are responsible, in accordance with the principle of ‘polluter pays’, for the funding, organization, management and operation of long-term waste management facilities and other facilities required for their wastes. The Policy Framework recognizes that arrangements may be different for the different categories of radioactive waste in Canada. In the case of nuclear fuel waste, the Government of Canada determined that it would be in the best interests of Canadians to have a national long-term management approach. In 2002, the Government of Canada brought into force the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act (NFWA), which outlines a process for the development and implementation of a long-term management approach for Canada’s nuclear


fuel waste and required that an organization, the Nuclear Waste Manage­ment Organization (NWMO), be established to carry out the work.

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