AECL's Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) are located in the Province of Ontario, 190 km northwest of Canada's national capital, Ottawa. The CRL site comprises 3,700 hectares (9,100 acres) along the Ottawa River.
AECL’s Chalk River Laboratories represent the largest single complex within Canada’s science and technology infrastructure. The site contains several licence-listed nuclear facilities, including the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor and many other unique facilities and laboratories.
The site has unique capabilities in expertise and specialized facilities that support key federal nuclear science and technology priorities: innovation for industry, safety, security, health, environmental and clean energy technologies.
AECL's Whiteshell Laboratories (WL), located 100 km northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba, was operated from 1961 to 1997. This is where AECL pioneered the development of dry storage containment facilities for used nuclear fuel, a – technology that is now in use throughout the world. The site is now being decommissioned.
The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Office (LLRWMO) was established in 1982 to carry out the responsibilities of the federal government for the management of historic low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) in Canada. The Office is operated by AECL through a cost-recovery agreement with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the federal department that provides funding, direction and priorities for the LLRWMO.
The Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI) represents the Government of Canada’s commitment to the cleanup and local, long-term, safe management of historic low-level radioactive waste in two Ontario municipalities. Launched in 2001, the PHAI has two projects: the Port Hope Project in the Municipality of Port Hope and the Port Granby Project in the Municipality of Clarington. The PHAI Management Office is composed of AECL as the lead agency, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) responsible for administering major contracts and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
In addition to those sites listed above, AECL maintains a small complement of staff in a number of locations across the country addressing commercial projects, leading academic work, addressing environmental concerns or decommissioning redundant or prototype facilities.