Atomic Energy of Canada Limited


AECL and AtkinsRéalis enter into Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate and expand intellectual property agreement, accelerating development of CANDU® MONARK™ reactor

AECL and AtkinsRéalis enter into Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate and expand intellectual property agreement, accelerating development of CANDU® MONARK™ reactor

Montreal:  February 22, 2024 – Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (“AECL”), a federal Crown corporation, and AtkinsRéalis [SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.] (TSX: ATRL), are pleased to announce they have entered into a MOU to collaborate for the purpose of successfully deploying CANDU® reactors in Canada and internationally and to expand their intellectual property licensing agreement (IPLA) given the importance of CANDU® technology’s role in helping Canada reach its net zero objectives.

The collaboration and licensing agreement to follow this MOU will accelerate the development of CANDU reactor technology, including the previously announced CANDU MONARK™ reactor, at a critical time during the energy transition. When the IPLA was initially signed in 2011, transitioning to a low-carbon world was not a consideration; as expanded, the agreement will reflect the changing priorities and the organizations’ belief in the role that CANDU technology will play in decarbonizing Canada and the world.

“I would like to extend my appreciation to AECL for their ongoing collaboration. The MOU underscores our mutual interest in advancing the CANDU technology suite of reactors,” commented Ian L. Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, AtkinsRéalis. “We’re committed to continuing the work we’ve undertaken for over a decade— successfully refurbishing, servicing, and developing CANDU technology in Canada and abroad to meet the growing low-carbon energy needs here and abroad—while enabling Canada to maintain its status as a Tier-1 nuclear nation.”

“While not a silver bullet, nuclear energy is part of a suite of non-emitting technologies that are required for the world to make the transition to a net-zero future. Made-in-Canada CANDU technology is a national and strategic asset that has provided reliable, non-emitting power and high-quality jobs to communities across Canada for decades,” said the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. “As the world moves to build a more prosperous and sustainable economy, we must use every tool in the toolbox to achieve our clean growth goals, reduce emissions and mitigate climate change. Canada’s expertise will ensure that we remain a safe and reliable partner for the peaceful use of nuclear energy throughout the global energy transition while also supporting significant economic opportunities for workers.”

“I am pleased that AECL and AtkinsRéalis are collaborating and working together to advance CANDU reactor technology; particularly one that recognizes the tremendous opportunity and need for CANDU to uniquely contribute to important national objectives such as decarbonization, energy security, economic growth and maintaining Canada’s Tier-1 nuclear nation status,” said Fred Dermarkar, President & Chief Executive Officer of AECL. “We believe this path can position CANDU reactor technology, developed in Canada by Canadians, to remain a viable reactor product offering at home and abroad.”

As the vast majority of CANDU components, fuel and services are sourced domestically and more than 85 per cent of a CANDU reactor’s equipment and parts can be supplied by Canadian manufacturers, this offers compounded economic benefits to stakeholders across the country. In fact, as the Original Equipment Manufacturer and proud steward of CANDU technology, AtkinsRéalis partners with a nationwide nuclear supply chain of more than 250 companies that employ 76,000 people and provides CANDU fuel, components, services and tooling.

“We will collaborate with AECL, the Canadian nuclear supply chain partners and our customers to complete the CANDU MONARK design for domestic and international deployment,” said Joe St. Julian, President, Nuclear, AtkinsRéalis. “CANDU technology is the only home-grown Canadian power reactor technology; it competes on a global stage, providing energy security, creating export opportunities and thousands of well-paying, highly skilled jobs, while also supporting the local supply chain and creating economic value to Canada. The deployment of the CANDU MONARK will provide safe, carbon free, base load power to the country and the world.”

About Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is a federal Crown corporation with a mandate to drive nuclear opportunities for Canada. Working through a government-owned / contractor-operated (GoCo) model that is executed by its contractor, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, AECL enables nuclear science and technology through its Chalk River Laboratories, Canada’s largest research complex, and by engaging with academia and private industry to advance nuclear innovation. It is committed to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It also manages the Government of Canada’s radioactive waste responsibilities. AECL continues to own the intellectual property for the CANDU® reactor technology and is accountable for deriving optimal benefit from this technology for Canada. Read more on AECL at

About AtkinsRéalis  

Created by the integration of long-standing organizations dating back to 1911, AtkinsRéalis is a world-leading professional services and project management company dedicated to engineering a better future for our planet and its people. We create sustainable solutions that connect people, data and technology to transform the world’s infrastructure and energy systems. We deploy global capabilities locally to our clients and deliver unique end-to-end services across the whole life cycle of an asset including consulting, advisory & environmental services, intelligent networks & cybersecurity, design & engineering, procurement, project & construction management, operations & maintenance, decommissioning and capital. The breadth and depth of our capabilities are delivered to clients in key strategic sectors such as Engineering Services, Nuclear, Operations & Maintenance and Capital. News and information are available at or follow us on LinkedIn.

About AtkinsRéalis’ Nuclear Business

AtkinsRéalis has over 70 years’ of global nuclear expertise, delivering nuclear technology products and full-service solutions to nuclear utilities around the world. AtkinsRéalis is the steward of CANDU® nuclear technology, operating on four continents, and provides advisory and engineering services to other nuclear developers. With an innovative technology portfolio, including access to over 500 patented solutions, AtkinsRéalis solves technically complex challenges across the whole nuclear lifecycle from design and new build through asset management and from life extension and late life management through decommissioning and waste management. AtkinsRéalis operates and manages government nuclear research sites, transforming ageing infrastructure and safely managing legacy nuclear waste. AtkinsRéalis is also involved in developing medical radioisotopes for cancer research through its partnership with TerraPower. Read more on our Nuclear market page.

For more information:


Jeremy Latta

Director, Communications and Government Reporting

Fred Dermarkar Re-appointed as President and CEO of AECL

Fred Dermarkar Re-appointed as President and CEO of AECL

Effective February 8, 2024, the Government of Canada has re-appointed Fred Dermarkar for a second three-year term as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).

“I am pleased that Fred will continue to lead AECL through this exciting era for nuclear in Canada,” said Jim Burpee, Chair of the Board of AECL.  “His profound knowledge of the industry and his first-hand experience ensures a steady hand as we look to take full advantage of Canada’s groundbreaking nuclear expertise to innovate in the fields of clean energy, health sciences and environmental remediation.”

Dermarkar has been working in the nuclear industry for more than 40 years.  He joined AECL in 2021, following seven years as the President and CEO of the CANDU Owners Group (COG), where he led the advancement of collaboration between CANDU operators worldwide.  Prior to that, he held a variety of positions at Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in support of the design, commissioning, operation, and refurbishment of its CANDU reactors.

“During my first term I am proud of the progress made by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories as it fulfills nuclear science and environmental remediation mandates, including major achievements in revitalizing the Chalk River Campus; the approval by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to construct a near surface disposal facility at Chalk River; and accelerated progress in cleaning up historic waste at Port Hope and Port Granby,” said Dermarkar.

“For my second term, my focus will be on completing the procurement process and associated transition to the next Government-owned / Contractor-operated contract, working with local Indigenous communities to advance reconciliation through our environmental remediation mission, working with academia and the supply chain to advance nuclear innovation through our world-renowned labs at the Chalk River site, and working to advance the renewal and deployment of AECL’s CANDU technology.” added Dermarkar.

About AECL

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is a federal Crown corporation with a mandate to drive nuclear opportunities for Canada. AECL enables nuclear science and technology, owns the Chalk River Laboratories and other sites, and manages the Government of Canada’s radioactive waste responsibilities through a government-owned / contractor-operated (GoCo) model that is executed by its contractor, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. AECL continues to own intellectual property for the CANDU® reactor technology for the benefit of Canadians.

AECL Participates in Canada-US Blended Cyber-Physical Exercise at Sandia National Labs

AECL Participates in Canada-US Blended Cyber-Physical Exercise at Sandia National Labs

Under the auspices of the Memorandum of Understanding between Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and the US National Nuclear Security Administration, a first-of-its-kind blended cyber-physical incident response exercise took place at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Organized by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) and Sandia National Labs, the exercise enabled the participating organizations to test cyber and physical security defense systems and response capabilities in a simulated cyber and physical attack. Nearly 100 people from government and industry participated in the exercise, including representatives from AECL, the US National Nuclear Security Administration, CNL, Sandia National Labs, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Bruce Power, and Idaho National Laboratory.  

With this exercise, CNL was able to verify its methodology for evaluating how well an organization responds to a cyber and physical attack. The event also helped advance the understanding of response effectiveness and advanced Canada-US collaboration in this important area of nuclear security.