Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Canada’s nuclear Crown corporation, and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, are pleased to announce that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) to pursue collaborative research opportunities. The MOU shows continued momentum for AECL and CNL in their efforts to develop a partnership network with Canada’s academic community, and builds on what has been an already close relationship with one of the country’s leading universities.
That relationship includes the delivery of research conducted in partnership with UNB’s Centre for Nuclear Energy Research (CNER). Last year, this ongoing collaboration culminated in the signing of a partnership agreement to pursue commercial opportunities in the nuclear power industry. This new MOU is designed to nurture even closer relations with UNB’s research community, enable knowledge mobilization, spur innovation and the development of intellectual property, and to provide solutions that address national and industry challenges.
“CNL, AECL and the University of New Brunswick have a long and rich history of collaboration that includes the development of innovative technologies and the delivery of operational support services,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science and Technology. “This agreement will bring our organizations even closer together, and better leverage our existing capabilities to explore new areas of research, while expanding professional development opportunities for our personnel and students. Overall, we are excited to build on what has been a productive relationship with a long-time, trusted partner.”
“As we drive nuclear innovation for Canada, it is critical that we collaborate with Canadian universities and research organizations in order to best leverage our collective expertise and capabilities in Canada,” said Dr. Amy Gottschling, AECL’s Vice-President of Science, Technology and Commercial Oversight. “Our partnership with the University of New Brunswick is doing just that, and builds on a solid foundation of shared critical expertise in nuclear research and technology development.”
“Under the direction of Dr. William Cook, UNB’s CNER has established a fruitful partnership with CNL and AECL,” said Dr. David MaGee, UNB vice-president (research). “This partnership has already better enabled experts at UNB to contribute their knowledge to Canada’s energy production landscape. This MOU will open even broader dialogues and opportunities for researchers at UNB to play an active role in Canada’s energy landscape.”
Under terms of the agreement, the parties will explore research within defined focus areas that leverage each partner’s unique expertise and specialized facilities, including cyber security, hydrogen, medical isotopes, and small modular reactors, among other areas. The organizations will also seek out professional development opportunities within the scope of work, with the goal of offering richer, more dynamic learning experiences for their nuclear scientists, engineers, students and technical professionals. As Canada’s national nuclear laboratory, the Chalk River Laboratories is home to a wide range of advanced nuclear facilities. However, CNL also maintains facilities in close proximity to UNB, which includes its National Innovation Centre for Cybersecurity in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
As in other recent agreements, the MOU with UNB aligns with CNL’s corporate strategy, Vision 2030, which was launched last year, and which identifies what CNL views as its central role within the future Canadian nuclear landscape. Serving as a national resource to all levels of government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community, CNL aims to work in concert with other organizations to help advance innovative Canadian products and services towards deployment, including carbon-free energy, cancer treatments and other therapies, non-proliferation technologies and waste management solutions.