While in operation the NSDF will physically resemble a municipal landfill with one active waste cell in operation at a time within the engineered containment mound.
Following its closure, the mound will resemble a grassy outcrop built into an existing hillside, which will be approximately 18 metres tall and the mound will occupy a 16-hectare footprint on the 4,000 hectare Chalk River Laboratories site.
The mound will not be visible from the main campus at Chalk River Laboratories or from the Ottawa River.
While in operation, the NSDF will have a waste water treatment plant and several support facilities such as an office, change room, weigh scales and a truck wash facility. These will be decommissioned and removed following the end of operations. The site will be permanently fenced and feature roads, utilities and surface water management ponds.