Joseph Turnbull, a PhD candidate in chemistry whose research is being funded by the NWMO, has been awarded this year’s Dr. N. Stewart McIntyre Award in Surface Science. The award is made to a full-time undergraduate or graduate student at Western University for excellence in research, involving surface analysis or surface science.
Mr. Turnbull’s research focuses on the corrosion of copper in solutions containing nitric acid, a product produced when radiation causes molecules to disassociate. Because the NWMO’s used fuel containers are copper-coated, this is an important factor to understand and plan for when designing an engineered-barrier system that can safely contain and isolate used fuel over the long term.
Mr. Turnbull’s research is jointly supervised by Profs. Clara Wren and David Shoesmith, both of whom hold collaborative research and development grants jointly funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the NWMO.
David Hall, Corrosion Scientist at the NWMO, also studied under Professors Wren and Shoesmith. “We are very fortunate to have talented students like Mr. Turnbull as part of our corrosion research program,” he says. “Working with and supporting the next generation of Canadian scientists makes me incredibly optimistic about the future of Canada’s long-term management of used nuclear fuel.”