The NWMO inspires young scientists at Women in Mining event
Sarah Hirschorn, Director, Geoscience at the NWMO shares her career journey with students at a Women in Mining: University of Toronto chapter event.
As an organization implementing a multi-generational environmental infrastructure project, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is committed to supporting the next generation of scientists in Canada.
Sarah Hirschorn, Director, Geoscience at the NWMO, demonstrated that commitment to encouraging youth by speaking at MINDustry Night — a Women in Mining student event hosted at the University of Toronto. The event brought together undergraduate and graduate students studying earth sciences, mineral engineering, environmental sciences and geography to network with industry professionals. As a keynote speaker, Ms. Hirschorn took the opportunity to share insights from her career journey.
“It was a real pleasure to talk to this group of young scientists about the wide range of career opportunities they have, and about this exciting multi-generational project the NWMO is implementing,” said Ms. Hirschorn.
The NWMO is tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come. As the director of the NWMO’s geoscience team, Ms. Hirschorn leads work that is critical to demonstrating the geological suitability and safety of the two siting areas that are being considered to host the repository — the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.
The implementation of Canada’s plan will span a 175-year period. The NWMO plans to select the site for the repository in 2024. At that point, we will enter the regulatory decision-making process, followed by an estimated 10-year period to construct the facility. We expect the deep geological repository will be operational in the early 2040s.
“It is the next generation who will take over the task of implementing Canada’s plan for safely managing used nuclear fuel from people like me,” continued Ms. Hirschorn. “I hope my journey as a geoscientist can help and inspire them as they set off on their own careers.”
Successfully implementing Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel requires investing in the future, and supporting youth education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is critical. The NWMO supports events like MINDustry Night through our corporate sponsorship program as part of our ongoing commitment to youth education in STEM.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.
Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.