The Canadian government said that Canada’s three nuclear utilities (Ontario Hydro, Hydro Quebec and New Brunswick Power) must form a new, arm’s-length agency to manage and coordinate long-term nuclear fuel waste activities. This organisation may have to look at new options for long-term disposal of radioactive spent fuel.

The new organisation will be encouraged to look at other options besides deep geological burial studied. The federal government said the new agency should look at a modified burialconcept, storage at reactor sites, and centralised storage either above or below ground.

The Canadian government said the waste management agency would be funded through a segregated fund.

Canada has not required utilities to set aside funds for nuclear waste disposal and plant decommissioning, but new regulations in 1999 will require plant owners to guarantee that such funds will exist when needed.