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The NWMO Announces New Director, Site Selection Ignace/Northwest

Press Release

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is pleased to announce our new Director, Site Selection Ignace/Northwest, Joanne Jacyk. Ms. Jacyk will play a critical role in ensuring that we continue to develop lasting relationships with the communities of Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation and Ignace, as well as surrounding communities. A major area of focus of hers will be ensuring potential host communities have all the information they need to decide if they are willing to have a deep geological repository located in their area to safely store and isolate Canada’s used nuclear fuel over the long term.

Ms. Jacyk was formerly manager of the NWMO’s Environment Program. The experience and knowledge she gained through her previous work in both siting areas will be invaluable in her new role. Ms. Jacyk is known for her strong abilities to collaborate with communities on participatory and co-designed programs, an innovative approach to building programs in a way that directly involves community residents.

“Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel is an important national environmental infrastructure project and there are still some members of the community that have questions. In my new role, I hope to work with the communities to address their questions,” said Ms. Jacyk. “I look forward to partnering with my colleague, Joe Heil, the Director of Indigenous Engagement, to work together to ensure residents in the siting communities have the information and support they need to make an informed decision as we approach the site selection decision in 2024.”

Ms. Jacyk’s involvement in leading the Participatory Environmental Baseline Program and her efforts to build community input into the program, in true co-creation spirit, demonstrated her passion for engaging with the community and bridging technical work with local knowledge to build better programs and processes. She has also been highlighted as one of our Water Stewards as she has a strong commitment to water protection in her professional and personal life.

As the NWMO works towards selecting a site to host the deep geological repository in 2024, Ms. Jacyk’s experience and insight will be an invaluable asset to the organization.

About the NWMO

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 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.


Joanne Jacyk joined the NWMO in 2009 and previously held the role of Manager, Environment Program. Prior to joining the NWMO, Ms. Jacyk worked for nearly 10 years in consulting, designing and leading environmental studies, monitoring programs, site investigations, remediation and impact assessments across various sectors, including mining, waste management and nuclear. Ms. Jacyk holds a degree in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Environmental Science from the University of Toronto. She is a registered Professional Engineer licensed in Ontario and a Certified Professional Facilitator.



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