OPG is building this 680-metre-deep underground storage facility to house 200,000 cubic metres of low and intermediate level radioactive waste. Low-level waste consists of material that may be contaminated through the normal course of operations at a nuclear facility such as paper towels, mops, and used tools. While low-level waste does not require specialized shielding for workers, the intermediate waste will require special handling and can consist of items such as irradiated core components, ion exchange resins and various filters. Used fuel, considered high-level waste, is not to be stored in the Deep Geologic Repository (DGR).
The repository will safely isolate and contain the waste undergroud ensuring protection of the water and the environment for many thousands of years. It will be buried 680 metres—deeper than the CN Tower is tall—in stable rock formations that are more than 450 million years old. In May 2015, an independent Federal Joint Review Panel recommended to the Federal Minister of the Environment that OPG be granted a licence to construct the DGR.
In August of 2017, OPG was asked for further information about the project from Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, including an update on impacts to the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. Negotiations with both parties to allow the project to move forward are still ongoing.