Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Science &

Emergency Preparedness

Research activities that support the needs of the Government of Canada and its ability to respond in the event of a nuclear emergency, including all preparedness and response responsibilities.

Federal priorities, commitments and goals

Overarching federal priorities and goals related to this theme area include:

  • Ensuring that Canada is ready to respond in the event of a radiological or nuclear emergency in Canada or abroad; and 
  • Providing risk-informed, science-based evidence for regulatory decision making. 

Scope of Work

The scope of work in this theme area to address the federal priorities include:

Develop, maintain and contribute technologies and capabilities to respond in the event of an emergency in Canada or abroad, including:

  • Contribution to scientific bases for the Federal nuclear emergency response, including planning, preparedness, training and evaluation of response readiness.
  • Having in place response teams with capabilities for characterization of radioactively contaminated areas, survey and contamination control.
  • Being able to rapidly triage any members of the public who would be exposed to radiation in the event of a nuclear emergency.
  • Developing decontamination methods for people, environment and infrastructure, and developing diagnostic tools and medical countermeasures for the treatment of contaminated people.

Increase our understanding of severe accidents phenomena and their progression for regulatory and emergency management purposes

  • Advancing the understanding of severe accident phenomena Investigation of methods to reduce source term of radioactive releases to the environment.
  • Development of scientific bases for management of hydrogen burn risks and other combustible gases, during in-vessel and ex-vessel stages, at operating nuclear power plants in Canada.
  • Human performance in accident/emergency environment.
  • Understanding of behavior of advanced fuels in transient and accident conditions, including mechanisms of radioactivity release in various media.
  • Understanding of impact of ageing on failure limits of safety important reactor structure, systems and components.
  • Building expertise in non-CANDU accident phenomenology, including the current and next generation of nuclear reactors.

Develop modeling capabilities for severe accident and emergency response

  • Development and validation of the state of the art modeling capabilities for severe accident analysis, in particular for the accidents with core disassembly.
  • Development and validation of rapid response tools for diagnosis/prognosis of nuclear facility accident progression during emergency.
  • Improvement and validation of atmospheric dispersion modeling for radioactive substances.
  • Development of a toolset for modeling of accidents at Small Modular Reactors (SMR) and other advanced reactor technologies.