Atomic Energy of Canada Limited


Appointment of Alastair MacDonald as Vice-President, Decommissioning and Waste Management Oversight

AECL is pleased to announce the appointment of Alastair MacDonald as Vice-President, Decommissioning and Waste Management Oversight.

Alastair has over 30 years of experience in the nuclear industry and has worked at sites in the United States and United Kingdom. Most recently, he was responsible for a complex nuclear packaging and transport project at Dounreay, as part of his role with the United Kingdom’s Cavendish Nuclear Ltd.

As Vice President of Decommissioning and Waste Management Oversight, Alastair will provide leadership for AECL’s decommissioning and waste management responsibilities, including oversight of CNL’s activities in facilities decommissioning, waste management and land remediation.

Alastair will be assuming his new responsibilities with AECL in October 2018.

Chalk River Open House on August 12, 2017

Public invited to visit the Chalk River Laboratories on August 12, 2017

Chalk River, Ontario, CANADA, 2017 May 30 — Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) are throwing a party, and you’re invited! In celebration of the ongoing site revitalization, Canada’s 150th anniversary, the NRU’s 60th anniversary, and in recognition of all the great accomplishments being made by the people – past and present – who work at the laboratories, AECL and CNL are inviting the public to an “Open House” on Saturday, August 12, 2017.

“It has been five years since our last Open House, which saw over 2,000 people come through the gates of the Chalk River site. The Chalk River Laboratories campus is undergoing an exciting period of revitalization, made possible by a $1.2 billion investment in new facilities and infrastructure. This is a great time to come and see what CNL is up to,” explains Mark Lesinski, President and CEO of CNL.

The open house will feature demonstrations, tours of laboratories, heavy equipment displays, kids’ entertainment, a variety of food vendors, engaging presentations and lots more. Tours of the NRU and NPD reactor will also be offered. Space is limited on these tours, so early registration is encouraged.

In addition, to the new buildings and physical changes, CNL has recently introduced an exciting new direction for the organization’s science and technology program with a focus on seven strategic initiatives including the siting of a small modular reactor, and a breakthrough technology in the health care sector. This event will also provide a chance for visitors to learn more about the work in decommissioning and waste management, including the proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility and the proposed in situ decommissioning of the NPD reactor.

“There have been important changes at AECL and CNL over the past few years. We landed on our feet and have an exciting vision for the future of the Chalk River Laboratories. It’s time to celebrate with our host and surrounding communities,” said Richard Sexton, President and CEO of AECL.

Want to learn more?

2014-10-10 – Launch of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

On November 3, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), will proudly launch a wholly-owned subsidiary named Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL). This is a major milestone in the restructuring of AECL that will ultimately revitalize Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization. “This is an exciting time for Canada’s nuclear industry,” said Dr. Robert Walker, President and CEO. “It’s also an important moment for our host communities in the Ottawa Valley, Pinawa, and Port Hope whose ongoing interest and stake in the restructuring project is greatly valued.” The organization employs approximately 3,400 people at 12 locations across Canada. The corporate headquarters and core research and development operations will remain situated at Chalk River Laboratories in the upper Ottawa Valley. CNL will continue to develop highly qualified people, and will be a source of highly skilled jobs and a key driver of local economic benefit in the communities where it operates. Canada helped build the global nuclear industry and created a unique platform for power generation known as CANDU. “CNL may be a new organization, but it stands on the shoulders of a Crown corporation with a proud history that spans over six decades of cutting-edge nuclear science and technology,” said Dr. Walker. ”This new model of operation will capitalize on burgeoning market opportunities and private sector management, opening up a promising new era before us,” he added. CNL will focus on three key mandates going forward:

  • Managing Canada’s radioactive waste and decommissioning responsibilities accumulated during the more than 60 years of nuclear research and development at the Chalk River and Whiteshell Laboratories.
  • Ensuring that Canada’s world-class nuclear science and technology capabilities and knowledge continue to support the federal government in its nuclear roles and responsibilities — from health protection and public safety to security and environmental protection.
  • Providing access to industry, on a commercial basis, to address its need for in- depth nuclear science and technology expertise.

Restructuring Background

In 2013, the Government of Canada announced its intention to implement a Government-owned, Contractor-operated (GoCo) model for the management of AECL’s Nuclear Laboratories. The goals are to create value and reduce risks and costs for taxpayers while continuing to fulfill AECL’s core mandate. The implementation of the GoCo model entails two steps. The first step is the creation of CNL as a subsidiary of AECL, to be operated largely with the governance, management systems and workforce that have been in place under AECL. On stand up on 2014 November 3, CNL will assume full responsibility for all day-to-day operations of AECL sites. The second step occurs at the conclusion of the Government’s procurement process to select the GoCo contractor, when the GoCo contract is awarded and ownership of CNL is transferred from AECL to the contractor. Transfer to the new GoCo contractor is anticipated in autumn of 2015. At that time, CNL will become a private-sector entity, and AECL will be a small Crown corporation focused on the management and oversight of this contract. AECL will oversee the performance of the contractual obligations of the contractor. AECL will also retain ownership of the Nuclear Laboratories’ physical and intellectual property assets and its liabilities.

About AECL

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization. For 60 years, AECL has been a world leader in developing peaceful and innovative applications from nuclear technology through its expertise in physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology and engineering. Approximately 3,400 highly skilled employees deliver a range of nuclear services – ranging from research and development, design and engineering to specialized technology, waste management and decommissioning. Today, AECL continues its commitment to ensure that Canadians and the world receive energy, health, environmental and economic benefits from nuclear science and technology with confidence that nuclear safety and security are assured. More information on can be found at or on November 03.