Atomic Energy of Canada Limited


Small Modular Reactor Project at the Chalk River Laboratories Moves to Formal Licence Review With CNSC

Canada’s first small modular reactor project reaches licencing milestone

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), a federal Crown corporation with a mandate to enable nuclear science and technology, and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, are pleased to congratulate Global First Power (GFP) on achieving an important milestone for their small modular reactor (SMR) project. Earlier today, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), announced that GFP’s application for a Licence to Prepare Site for an SMR project at the Chalk River Laboratories has completed preliminary evaluations, and is now moving on to formal licence review.

“This is a major development towards achieving Canada’s climate change goals,” commented Fred Dermarkar, President and CEO at AECL. “Nuclear energy and SMRs will have to be part of our energy mix if we want to meet our objective of reaching net-zero by 2050. As pioneers of innovative nuclear technology in this country, it is exciting to see continued progress towards the deployment of this promising clean energy technology at our Chalk River site.”

Since its inception in the 1940s, AECL’s Chalk River Laboratories has hosted several first-of-a-kind nuclear reactors and technologies. The campus is home to world-leading experts in nuclear engineering, chemistry, physics and environmental protection, and offers a full complement of other nuclear support services.

“I would like to congratulate the team at Global First Power on reaching this significant milestone,” commented Joe McBrearty, President and CEO at CNL. “The licensing of a new nuclear reactor must be underpinned by a robust scientific understanding, and sound environmental research. The acceptance of this licence application into formal review is evidence of the viability and safety of this project, and the diligence of the GFP team in preparing their application.”

Both AECL and CNL have identified SMRs as one of several strategic initiatives the company is pursuing, with the goal of siting a demonstration project on one of AECL’s sites, which are managed by CNL. Together, both organizations are working to demonstrate the commercial viability of SMRs and have positioned Canada as a global leader in SMR prototype testing and technology development support. As part of the program, CNL issued an invitation in 2018 to SMR developers to apply to site an SMR demonstration reactor at a CNL-managed site. GFP is in stage three of CNL’s four-stage process, and with this recent CNSC announcement, GFP is the most advanced concept towards demonstration.

For more information on CNL, including its SMR program, please visit

About AECL

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is a federal Crown corporation with an objective of driving nuclear innovation and cleaning up legacy wastes. AECL delivers its mandate through a long-term contract with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) for the management and operation of its sites.

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

AECL Contact:

Maude-Émilie Pagé
Director, Communications and Government Reporting
343-303-5345 or

CNL Contact:

Patrick Quinn

Director, Corporate Communications

CNL, 1-866-886-2325



Joint statement from AECL, CNL & the Town of Deep River

Chalk River, ON – April 05, 2021 – Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) and the Town of Deep River issued the following joint statement today:

In response to the ongoing revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories campus, including the decommissioning of aging infrastructure and new capital investments, AECL, CNL and the Town of Deep River have agreed to an examination of recent assessments of property value for some of the buildings at the AECL-owned site.

The objective of this evaluation is to provide for a fair valuation of new and renovated facilities at the Chalk River Laboratories’ facilities, as the foundation for updating the payment in lieu of property taxes. The three parties will work together with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation to review assessments.

“As the company contracted to operate AECL’s Chalk River Laboratories campus, CNL is pleased to participate in this process and will work collaboratively to support this review,” commented Joe McBrearty. “All three parties recognize just how important it is that these payments reflect the proper value of the site, and I’m pleased that we were able to proactively come to an agreed path forward on this assessment.”

“AECL is making significant investments in the Chalk River Laboratories to transform it into a modern, world-class nuclear science and technology campus.” Fred Dermarkar added, “As we modernize our facilities, it is important that this be reflected in our contributions to the local communities through payments in lieu of taxes. We are proud of our history in this strong and vibrant local community, and want to see this continue for decades to come.

“On behalf of the Town of Deep River, I want to express our appreciation to AECL and CNL for the open, professional and constructive dialogue they have engaged in with us.  As a conscientious corporate citizen, they volunteered to have the recent new construction at Chalk River Laboratories reassessed to ensure fairness in taxation, despite the fact that they are not legislatively obliged to do so.  AECL, CNL and CNEA are exceptional members of our community and have partnered with us on many recent initiatives including: fire services, water and improvements to internet.  We are fortunate to have them as part of our town.” Sue D’Eon, Mayor



CNL Contact:

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications
CNL, 1-866-886-2325 or

AECL Contact:

Maude-Émilie Pagé
Director, Communications and Government Reporting
343-303-5345 or

Town of Deep River Contact:

Seam Patterson
Chief Administrative Officer
613 584 2000

AECL Joins Equal by 30 Campaign

AECL Joins Equal by 30 Campaign

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is proud to announce that we are the newest signatory on the Equal by 30 campaign!

This is a joint initiative with the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), which works to advance the participation of women in the clean energy transition and close the gender gap. We join several public and private sector organizations to work towards equal pay, equal leadership, and equal opportunities for women in the clean energy sector by 2030.

As part of this, AECL will be taking concrete action and endorsing principles to accelerate the priorities of the Equal by 30 campaign. Our commitments are as follows:

  1. Promote equality in recruitment practices and strive for a process free from discrimination by conducting the hiring process in a manner that is fair, unbiased, transparent, and objective.
  2. Offer a dynamic, progressive, and diverse work environment that allows staff to demonstrate their individuality and abilities while benefiting from policies in support of equality.
  3. Promote an understanding of the benefits and significance of inclusivity by providing learning/training opportunities for employees to develop the capabilities, behaviors, and competencies necessary for an inclusive and equitable workforce.
  4. Advocate for “Equal by 30” and its principles in Canada and abroad through the promotion of AECL’s commitments and engagements with peers, partners, and contractors.
  5. Actively celebrate diversity and inclusion to recognize the distinctiveness of people’s cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles.

While today women make up 44% of our workforce and 50% of our Board of Directors, we can and will do more. Equal by 30 reinforces our commitment to close the gender gap, particularly in leadership roles, and strengthen the diversity and inclusiveness of our team.

For more information on this initiative, please visit the Equal by 30 website.