Atomic Energy of Canada Limited


AECL and CNL sign collaborative research agreement with the University of Waterloo

AECL and CNL sign collaborative research agreement with the University of Waterloo

Canada’s national nuclear laboratory continues to expand academic partnership network through MOU with one of Canada’s leading universities

Chalk River, ON – February 14, 2023 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Canada’s nuclear Crown Corporation, are pleased to announce that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Waterloo to pursue collaborative research opportunities. The agreement represents the fourth MOU signed by CNL and AECL with a growing list of Canada’s universities, demonstrating continued momentum in their efforts to cultivate closer relationships with Canada’s academic community, and to advance collaborative research in health and environmental sciences, clean energy and nuclear safety.

Included in the MOU is a list of focus areas that leverage key strengths within the organizations, such as small modular and advanced reactors; additive manufacturing and advanced materials research; nuclear cogeneration and energy storage; infrastructure, lifecycle and operational assessment; and cyber security and safety. Overall, the agreement is intended to nurture closer relationships with the University of Waterloo’s research community, enable knowledge mobilization, spur innovation and the development of intellectual property, and to provide solutions that address national and industry challenges.

“As part of our new corporate strategy, Vision 2030, CNL has made it an organizational priority to build and grow alliances with Canada’s leading academic institutions, and this agreement with the University of Waterloo is a major step in that process,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science and Technology. “This partnership will support the professional development of the next generation of nuclear researchers and engineers; allow us to share knowledge in order to accelerate early-stage research; and combine our financial resources to advance common interests. It is a proven model that leads to more ambitious research, and we are thrilled that the University of Waterloo have agreed to work with us through this collaborative framework.”

“As AECL and CNL deepen our relationships with academia, we are excited to be providing a bridge between foundational research and private industry services that rely on innovation to solve our nation’s greatest challenges,” says Dr. Amy Gottschling, Vice-President, Science, Technology & Commercial Oversight, AECL. “Waterloo has an excellent reputation for bringing forward technology through collaboration, and our mutual expertise and interests will be a strong foundation for driving real change in nuclear science.”

“We are pleased to partner with CNL and AECL on advancing research in critical areas that align with our mutual priorities. This collaboration will fuel innovation and advance training in key areas, including additive manufacturing, clean energy, and security, areas that are important for Canada’s future,” says Charmaine B. Dean, Vice-President, Research and International, University of Waterloo.

At the heart of the new agreement is the pursuit of collaborative research projects related to health sciences, environmental stewardship, clean energy and national security. This also includes developing highly-qualified people, knowledge mobilization and the sharing of specialized infrastructure. As Canada’s national nuclear laboratory, the Chalk River Laboratories is home to a wide range of advanced nuclear facilities, including laboratories dedicated to nuclear fuel development and testing, biological research, analytical chemistry, thermalhydraulics and mechanical testing, among others. By offering improved access to these facilities, the three organizations hope to not only pursue joint research projects and programs, but also to cultivate a more talented and diverse workforce within the industry, by offering richer, more dynamic learning opportunities for the next generation of nuclear scientists, engineers and technical professionals.

As in other recent agreements, the MOU with the University of Waterloo 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.

To learn more about CNL, including its research projects and programs, please visit If you would like to learn more about Vision 2030, please visit

About CNL

As Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, and working under the direction of AECL, CNL is a world leader in the development of innovative nuclear science and technology products and services. Guided by an ambitious corporate strategy known as Vision 2030, CNL fulfills three strategic priorities of national importance – restoring and protecting the environment, advancing clean energy technologies, and contributing to the health of Canadians.

By leveraging the assets owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), CNL also serves as the nexus between government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community. CNL works in collaboration with these sectors to advance innovative Canadian products and services towards real-world use, including carbon-free energy, cancer treatments and other therapies, non-proliferation technologies and waste management solutions.

To learn more about CNL, please visit

About AECL

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. It oversees and evaluates CNL’s work through contracts.

In business since 1952, AECL designed and developed the fleet of CANDU nuclear reactors that serve Canada and five other countries. It also delivered more than one billion isotopes worldwide to detect and treat cancer. Today it delivers value for Canadians through supporting 14 federal departments and agencies, as well as the global nuclear industry.

For more information on AECL, visit

About the University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo is a leading global innovation hub that drives economic and social prosperity for Canada and the world. We are home to a renowned talent pipeline, game-changing research and technology, and unmatched entrepreneurial culture, that together create solutions to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.

A strategic integration of research and teaching excellence, the world’s largest co-operative education program, entrepreneurship-intensive programs, and creator-owned IP, has resulted in extensive industry collaboration, the generation of thousands of commercial and social enterprises, and a dynamic learning experience for more than 41,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Find out more at

AECL and CNL break ground on new nuclear research facility at Chalk River

AECL and CNL break ground on new nuclear research facility at Chalk River

Canada’s nuclear leaders gather to celebrate construction
of the Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre (ANMRC)

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) officially broke ground on the new Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre (ANMRC) at the Chalk River Laboratories. AECL President & CEO, Fred Dermarkar, and CNL President & CEO, Joe McBrearty, were joined by local officials and representatives of Canada’s nuclear supply chain to celebrate construction of the new facility.

The ANMRC will be one of the largest nuclear research facilities in Canada. It will house 23 laboratories, accommodate 160 employees and consolidate key capabilities from aging facilities scheduled for decommissioning at the site. The structure is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2028.

The ANMRC will support Canada’s clean energy goals by providing services critical to the life extension and long-term reliability of existing reactors, including Canada’s fleet of CANDU® reactors and other designs from around the world. The facility will feature 12 new shielded hot cells that will enable post-irradiation examination of small modular reactors (SMR) and next-generation nuclear fuels in addition to glovebox facilities to support the development of advanced fuel fabrication concepts.

The ANMRC is a key component of the revitalization of Chalk River Laboratories, a $1.2B investment by the Government of Canada.

Fred Dermarkar, President & CEO, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

“ANMRC is central to AECL’s vision to drive nuclear innovation. It will be a modern, efficient, world-class nuclear lab to serve the needs of the Government of Canada and the Canadian nuclear industry – not only for today, but for decades into the future.”

Joe McBrearty, President & CEO, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

 “The investments that the Government of Canada has made to revitalize Chalk River Laboratories give us the facilities and infrastructure needed to confront some of the nation’s most pressing issues, from climate change to energy security. The ANMRC is at the centre of this vision.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources

“To fight climate change and lower emissions, we must look to all non-emitting sources of energy, which very much needs to include nuclear energy. The Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre (ANMRC) is an important step forward in Canada’s long history as a peaceful user of nuclear power. The work undertaken here will help guide a new generation of nuclear technologies and ensure that our nuclear sector remains a reliable, safe, cost-effective and innovative source of energy and opportunity.” 

Statement by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) respects the procedural directive received today from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regarding Indigenous engagement with the Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) project proposed for our Chalk River site.

AECL’s leadership team is deeply committed to listening, to understanding, to improving and, most importantly, to taking meaningful actions to advance reconciliation with the Indigenous communities on whose lands AECL operates.

We will continue to increase our efforts to reach out to Indigenous communities. This will enrich our understanding, assure those communities that they are being heard, and demonstrate that we are living up to our obligations.

Our goal is for Indigenous communities to know that they are part of our success in effectively managing and disposing of the Government of Canada’s low-level radioactive waste as well as advancing nuclear science and technology for the benefit of all.