Atomic Energy of Canada Limited


The weekend of July 14th represented the 60th anniversary of the Town of Pinawa, Manitoba, close to where Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL) Whiteshell Laboratories is situated.

In 1963, the Town of Pinawa, was founded for the employees of AECL, who worked at the Whiteshell site. The Whiteshell site construction began the same year.

Located at the Whiteshell Laboratories in Manitoba, the WR-1 was the largest organically cooled, heavy water moderated nuclear reactor in the world and played an important role in building Canada’s scientific and industrial capacity. Originally built as a test reactor for a proposed Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) power reactor, it was later used for nuclear fuel research and other programs.

In 1985, the WR-1 research reactor was shut down and in 1998, Whiteshell Laboratories was closed, and any work was transferred to AECL’s other site, Chalk River Laboratories (CRL), located in Chalk River, Ontario.

Today, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) continues the decommissioning and restoration of Whiteshell Laboratories.  Looking forward to the next chapter of the site, engagements have started to learn what future uses are important to the surrounding communities and Indigenous nations.

AECL representatives were happy to participate in the festivities in Pinawa to celebrate this important birthday!