Atomic Energy of Canada Limited


Algonquins of Ontario Honour AECL and CNL with Name for New Site Entrance Building at Chalk River Campus

Algonquins of Ontario Honour AECL and CNL with Name for New Site Entrance Building at Chalk River Campus

Canada’s national nuclear laboratory welcomes Algonquins of Ontario representatives to Chalk River Laboratories to celebrate opening of new ‘Minwamon Building’

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) are pleased to announce that the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) have honoured the organizations by bestowing a name upon their new site entrance building at the Chalk River Laboratories. Now known as the Minwamon Building, which means ‘clear path’ in the Algonquin language, the facility was officially inaugurated during a ceremony held earlier today at the Chalk River campus.

CNL’s President and CEO, Joe McBrearty, and AECL’s President and CEO, Fred Dermarkar, were joined by Algonquin Negotiation Representatives Lynn Clouthier, Ottawa Algonquin Community, and Connie Mielke, Algonquins of Greater Golden Lake, to reveal the new name as part of the celebration, which included a smudge ceremony by Elder Dan Ross to commemorate the unveiling. Opened earlier this year, the Minwamon Building has transformed the site entry experience for employees and the public.

“I want to thank the Algonquins of Ontario, Fred Dermarkar and our other guests for joining us today to celebrate the Minwamon Building,” commented McBrearty. “I also want to thank the AOO for honouring us with a name that captures the spirit of not only this building, which serves as the entry point to the campus and our research, but also our commitment to sustainable operations. We truly appreciate this generous gift, and we will continue to grow and nurture our relationship with the Algonquin People as part of the journey on our clear path.”

“We want to thank CNL and AECL for this naming opportunity. This building is a testament to our understanding that everything and everyone is connected. The path we are on together must be a clear and good path. Our actions today on this land on the banks of our sacred Kichi-Sìbì river will echo through the next seven generations,” commented Connie Mielke.

“Today’s event brings us together in a meaningful way as AECL, CNL and the AOO continue to advance our relationship,” said Fred Dermarkar, President and CEO of AECL. “We are honoured to be inaugurating this building in partnership with the AOO, and to be gifted the Minwamon name as a way to recognize our commitment to working together towards healing and reconciliation.”

AECL and CNL are committed to meaningful engagement with local First Nations and Métis communities to identify mutually beneficial partnerships and opportunities for collaboration. In particular, we recognize that Indigenous knowledge and involvement complements and improves the operation of our sites, as well as environmental and employment matters. The gifting of the new name for the Minwamon Building is another positive step in pursuit of these goals and is part of a broader effort between AECL, CNL and the AOO to formalize a long-term relationship.

The Minwamon Building is one of a series of new buildings that are being constructed at the Chalk River campus. Among the many environmentally friendly features of the facility, its main structural material is a new generation of mass timber products sourced from within Canada, a renewable resource that reduces CNL’s carbon footprint. It was also constructed using strategies that include sustainable site development, water and energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. Designed by HDR Architects and LEA Consulting Engineers, the building was recently named a recipient of the Ontario Wood Design Innovation Award, which recognizes new projects that push the limits of wood design in structures.

New buildings at the Chalk River Laboratories are part of a 10-year capital program, funded through a $1.2-billion investment from AECL, that is designed to transform the site through the revitalization of essential site infrastructure and a significant investment in new, world-class science facilities. For more information on CNL, including the revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories campus, please visit

About CNL

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

For more information on the complete range of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories services, please visit or contact

About AECL

AECL is a federal Crown corporation with a mandate to drive nuclear opportunities for Canada. Working with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, AECL enables nuclear science and technology and manages the Government of Canada’s radioactive waste responsibilities.

About the AOO

The Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) are on a journey of survival, rebuilding and self-sufficiency – a journey of reconciliation. This journey began nearly 250 years ago when the first Algonquin petition was submitted to the Crown in 1772. Algonquins have lived in present-day Ontario for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. Today, the AOO are comprised of ten Algonquin communities.

Based on a protocol signed in 2004, the ten Algonquin Communities are working together to provide a unified approach to negotiate a modern-day treaty. The unceded AOO Settlement Area, includes an area of more than nine million acres within the watersheds of the Kichi-Sìbì and the Mattawa River in Ontario, unceded territory that covers most of eastern Ontario, including the Chalk River Laboratories site.

For more information about the AOO, please visit

Algonquins of Ontario contact:

Daniel Charbonneau

Executive Director, AOO

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited contact:

Maude-Émilie Pagé

Director, Communications and Government Reporting


Canadian Nuclear Laboratories contact:

Patrick Quinn

Director, Corporate Communications

CNL, 1-866-886-2325


Safe Long-Term Storage of Waste at Port Granby Site

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is proud to announce the capping and closure of the engineered aboveground mound at the Port Granby Long-Term Waste Management Facility in Clarington, Ontario, as part of the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI).

Construction at the Port Granby Project storage facility began in 2016 and involved the installation of multi-layered base liner and cover systems to safely isolate approximately 1.3 million tonnes of low-level radioactive waste from the environment. In November 2020, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) completed the excavation and safe transfer of historic waste from the former site on the shores of Lake Ontario. Maintenance and monitoring at this facility will continue for hundreds of years.

The facility is one of several environmental remediation projects being undertaken by CNL, including the design and construction of a similar facility proposed for the Chalk River Laboratories site, known as the Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF), which is currently undergoing an environmental assessment.

This is a significant achievement, one which has only been made possible through collaborative work between AECL, CNL and municipal partners.

“This milestone represents a strong and continuous commitment to our environmental protection initiatives,” said Fred Dermarkar, President and CEO of AECL. “Together, we are addressing key environmental remediation responsibilities now to leave an honourable legacy for future generations.”

We would like to congratulate all staff and contractors for their hard work, and we look forward to celebrating with the community and Indigenous nations in the spring.

For more information on the Port Granby Project and the PHAI, please visit CNL’s website.


Trilateral commitment to sustainability in the decommissioning of legacy nuclear sites

On November 2, 2021,  leaders from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), the Department of Energy of the United States of America (DOE), the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) reaffirmed their shared commitment to sustainability in the management of legacy nuclear sites. 

This partnership enhances collaboration and improves the collective approaches to sustainability and climate resilience, while reducing the impacts on communities and the environment from the decommissioning and remediation of legacy nuclear sites. 

This cooperative effort is under the March 2020 Statement of Intent among AECL, DOE, and NDA for the Exchange of Information Concerning Management of Radioactive Waste, which formalized a trilateral framework for the longstanding collaboration between the three organizations in the area of legacy nuclear sites, and their commitment to protecting the environment, as well as addressing both climate change and socio-economic outcomes.  

The three organizations plan to share their experience and approaches to managing the decommissioning, remediation and transformation of their legacy nuclear sites in the most effective, efficient, safe and sustainable way. This includes taking steps to embed sustainability in each of their supply chains, minimizing waste, enhancing biodiversity, decarbonizing operations and managing long term socioeconomic impacts to the surrounding communities – both during their respective clean-up activities and after the work is complete.   

A main principle of this shared approach is engaging with local communities and governments, Indigenous Peoples, and other stakeholder groups to identify optimum approaches for long-term land stewardship.