Enabling nuclear science and technology
The objective is to provide nuclear science and technology in order to sustain and develop Canada’s capabilities in a cost-effective manner. AECL is responsible for coordinating the Federal Nuclear Science and Technology Work Plan and works with CNL to enable it to leverage the expertise and capabilities at the laboratories to provide technical services and research and development products for third parties on a commercial basis.
Federal Nuclear Science and Technology Work Plan
AECL oversees the delivery of the Federal Nuclear Science and Technology Work Plan in order to support the Government’s priorities and core responsibilities in areas such as nuclear safety, security, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, energy, health, environmental protection, and emergency response. AECL engaged with federal departments and agencies to develop a program of work that meets broad federal needs and priorities while ensuring value for money for Canada.
As a result of this engagement, AECL’s Federal Nuclear Science and Technology Work Plan focuses on five research themes and activities: (1) supporting the development of biological applications and understanding the implications of radiation on living things, (2) enhancing national and global security by supporting non-proliferation and counter-terrorism, (3) nuclear preparedness and emergency response, (4) supporting safe, secure and responsible use and development of nuclear technologies, and (5) supporting environmental stewardship and radioactive waste management.
National Research Universal Reactor
The National Research Universal (NRU) reactor will continue to operate until March 2018. This includes performing research activities, as well as producing medical and industrial isotopes. The routine production of the key medical isotope Mo-99 will cease in October 2016, consistent with the Government’s medical isotope strategy. However, as announced in February 2015, the reactor will retain the capacity to produce Mo-99 until March 2018, to be used only in the unexpected circumstance where worldwide production is not sufficient to meet demand. After March 2018, the reactor will be put in a safe shutdown state.
For more information on isotope supply, see The National Research Universal Reactor and Medical Isotope Supply.