Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Science &

National Security and Emergency Preparedness

Science and technology activities to support the Government of Canada’s national and international security and policy objectives in the areas of nuclear non-proliferation and counter-terrorism and 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:

  • Develop and advance science and technology to detect, monitor, track and characterize chemical, biological, and radioactive and nuclear materials, including special nuclear materials, and other threats (i.e. explosives).
  • Improve Canadian global leadership in science and technology development to support nuclear non-proliferation, safeguards and trade and export control objectives as part of Canada’s broader aim to advance its security interests around the world.
  • Support Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy and its interests in the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty and the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament.
  • Improve cyber security and protect our nuclear critical infrastructure from cyber-threats.
  • Ensure that Canada is ready to respond in an event of a radiological or nuclear emergency, in Canada or abroad through science and technology to inform decision-making and solutions in emergency situations.

Scope of Work

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

Nuclear Forensics and Detection:

  • Providing technical support and developing techniques and technologies for the detection of chemical, biological, and radioactive and nuclear materials, including special nuclear materials.
    • Provide detection and identification tools to intercept fentanyl and other substances.
    • Provide technical assistance and develop technologies in support of harmonized cargo screening methods that expedite the movement of secure cargo by enhancing the detection of illicit and legitimate radioactive materials within domestic and international supply chain.
  • Developing and implementing technologies and methods to support the advancement of Canada’s nuclear non-proliferation, safeguard and counter-terrorism priorities.
  • Identifying and increasing the understanding of radiological identifiers to contribute to national and international countermeasures in the event of terrorist acts or nuclear accidents.
  • Developing capabilities to uniquely identify the origin of nuclear materials through forensic investigation and improved detection methods of undeclared material.

Cyber Security:

  • Conducting research in key areas of the CSA N290.7 standard for cyber security for nuclear power plants and small reactor facilities.
  • Advancing the implementation and application of the CSA N290.7 standard to small reactor facilities and non-reactor nuclear facilities.
  • Investigating methodologies and technologies for monitoring, detecting and mitigating cyber-intrusion and cyber-physical security events in complex real-time systems and associated communications networks.
  • Establishing a cyber security test facility to support research and development and cyber security testing and evaluation.

Emergency Response and Preparedness:

  • Developing, maintaining and contributing technologies and capabilities to respond in the event of a radiological or nuclear emergency in Canada or abroad.
  • Consolidating natural vs. man made risk assessment.
  • Contributing to scientific bases for the federal nuclear emergency response, including planning, preparedness, training and evaluation of response readiness.
  • Developing bio-dosimetry methods for rapid evaluation of radiation doses received by humans in case of a radiological emergency.
  • Improving methods for rapid detection and measurement of radionuclides in the environment.
  • Investigating methods to reduce source term of radioactive releases to the environment.
  • Understanding accident progression for emergency response and consequence management.
  • Developing decontamination methods for people, environment and infrastructure, and developing diagnostic tools and medical countermeasures for the treatment of contaminated people.
  • Looking at human performance in accident/emergency environment.

Research results in this theme area can be explored in more detail here.