Laurentis Section Manager helps redefine the nuclear by-products picture
An outdoor enthusiast and former IRONMAN hailing from Canada’s East Coast, Gillian Spinney knew she wanted a career in the nuclear industry after early experiences working at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station in New Brunswick.
For Spinney, Laurentis Energy Partners was the perfect fit.
A commercial subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Laurentis is a nimble and fast-growing organization focused on innovation in energy markets and health care around the world. “Laurentis has offered many interesting opportunities for development; we are all here because we love a challenge and want to support in deploying new ideas and solutions for the ‘next steps of nuclear’”, Spinney said.
A mom of two young kids, Spinney leads a busy life camping all over Ontario in her personal time while playing a key role in bridging the gaps between technical and commercial issues for many of Laurentis’s clean-energy projects as a Section Manager.
With over 15 years of experience in nuclear engineering, safety, and emergency response, Spinney joined Laurentis in 2022 to support the Commercial Projects team in their various medical isotope projects and innovations.
“It was an exciting draw,” said Spinney.
“It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to work in an organization so focused on advancing and deploying cutting-edge technologies for the nuclear industry during what is arguably the nuclear renaissance.”
In February of this year, Laurentis announced the installation and initial commissioning of an innovative isotope system at Darlington’s Nuclear Generating Station to produce Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). Mo-99 is used to produce Technetium-99 metastable (Tc-99m), one of the most prevalently used diagnostic imaging agents in nuclear medicine, which helps detect illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
“The isotope Target Delivery System (TDS) at Darlington is a first of its kind. It’s been incredibly rewarding to be part of the team that gets to bring this lifesaving and industry-changing system to life,” said Spinney. “The big question now is what’s next. I’m excited to play a part in that answer and explore the expansion of the TDS’s capability for new isotope opportunities.”
“The big question now is what’s next. I’m excited to play a part in that answer and explore the expansion of the TDS’s capability for new isotope opportunities.”
Laurentis also produces Helium-3 – a rare isotope used in quantum computing, neutron research, border security, and medical imaging. Using a custom-designed tool, Laurentis extracts high-purity He-3 from tritium, a by-product of nuclear clean-energy, stored at OPG’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station.
“I’m passionate and proud to be able to play a part in nuclear sustainability,” said Spinney. “Across the nuclear industry, we are not only producing power but we’re inventing ways and developing tools to use what we have today to produce more for the future, like valuable isotopes, that are beyond what we typically think nuclear power generation is capable of. Through examples like He-3, we’re turning what would’ve been considered a by-product into an asset. Working for Laurentis, I know that the impact of my role and the work we do can be industry- and even life-changing.”
Spinney’s message to others mulling a change or wanting to have more enthusiasm towards their career was clear to her.
“Don’t be intimidated by the big boulder in your way – focus on the small steps and bring your best to it, which will ultimately set you up for success. When in doubt, ask yourself ‘at this moment, what’s the best next step I can take?’ – which may be loosely inspired by my daughter’s favourite movie, Frozen 2!”
Spinney is excited about the future of nuclear and the innovations that are coming out of the industry. “As a mom to two young kids, I want to create a better world, where clean-energy and environmental sustainability go hand-in-hand. I want my kids to know that ‘status-quo’ is a thing of the past and the sky is the limit. Being able to play a role in that vision every day makes what I do at Laurentis a fulfilling career.”
Laurentis is a forward-thinking, diverse, and equal-opportunity employer. Offering challenging career opportunities, Laurentis is surrounded by some of the best employees in the energy sector, working together to promote safety, efficiency, and integrity. To view the latest job opportunities at Laurentis, click here.