Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Science &

Chalk River Revitalization

AECL is investing $1.2 billion to renew the science and site supporting infrastructure at the Chalk River Laboratories.

The objective is to revitalize and modernize the Chalk River site and transform it into a world-class, state of-the-art nuclear science and technology campus. 

As older and outdated buildings and laboratories are decommissioned, new facilities are being built, including world-class science buildings.

Activities are already well underway. The Harriet Brooks Laboratory Building was commissioned in 2017 and enables cutting-edge research in chemistry and materials. A new tritium laboratory was also commissioned 2018 and is designed to handle high-specific activity tritium, thereby enabling unique research activities.

Environmental stewardship and sustainability is at the heart of what we do, and new buildings are being built with this objective in mind. For example, the Harriet Brooks Laboratory Building was awarded LEED Silver certification. This represents an independent verification that the building was designed with green objectives in mind. Furthermore, the site’s powerhouse was recently converted to natural gas, which is contributing to reducing greenhouse gasses emissions by more than 30 percent.

Several new construction projects at the Chalk River campus are being designed and constructed using new generation of mass timber products. This material represents a sustainable construction approach and showcases AECL commitment to green construction and environmental stewardship.

Photo Caption:  Artistic impression of Chalk River Laboratories Campus Revitalization 

New facilities being planned include:


  • The Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre, which will combine the capabilities of existing but outdated facilities into a modern shielded facility and laboratory research complex. This new facility will allow further advancements in the nuclear science and technology program including in support of small modular reactor development and nuclear safety and security. It will also enable ongoing work in support of utilities as they look at reactor life extension and reliability.
  • The Logistics/Warehouse Building will facilitate shipping and receiving at the Chalk River site. Located at the outer gate area, the building features an attached security entrance and receiving area for all visitors and contractors. The facility will increase security at the outer area of the site and reduce the need for non-CNL staff to be on site, thereby reducing administrative costs, improving logistics productivity and efficiency, improving inventory efficiency, and reducing site traffic and congestion.
  • The Business Hub will provide office space to accommodate current and future staffing projections at CNL. With a number of older buildings currently housing staff which are slated for decommissioning, and the overall dependence on trailer systems for office space, the Business Hub will fill the space gap for the long-term.
  • The Maintenance Building will consolidate maintenance resources, work management resources and equipment into a single, centralized location at the Chalk River site. This includes the consolidation of 32 maintenance shops into 3, which will allow CNL to achieve efficiencies and provide safer, more cost-effective support to the programs on site.