Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Science &

New Nuclear Technologies

Research activities to maintain and improve the viability, competitiveness, safety and security of nuclear technologies in Canada and abroad, and to provide scientific-based information for regulations, codes, standards and licensing.

Federal priorities, commitments and goals

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

  • Implement the Pan-Canadian Framework and help achieve Canada’s international greenhouse gas targets by reducing the environmental impacts of energy production, bringing clean electricity onto the grid, reducing industrial emissions, and reducing diesel use in remote communities;
  • Increase competitiveness and promote the use of clean technology—including in Canada’s natural resource sectors—through research, development, and demonstration of innovative nuclear energy technologies;
  • Support the Government of Canada’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) initiatives;
  • Deliver on Canada’s commitment under Mission Innovation to advance clean energy research, development, and demonstration while encouraging private sector investment and increasing domestic and international partnerships;
  • Give effect to Canada’s bilateral partnerships on nuclear science and technology with countries such as United States, United Kingdom, India and China, as well as multilateral partnerships including the Nuclear Energy Agency, Clean Energy Ministerial, and the Government’s extension of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) Framework Agreement and participation in GIF System Arrangements; and
  • Inform potential programs, regulations, and policies for new nuclear energy technologies.

Scope of Work

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

Validation and development of safety analysis methodologies for regulatory purposes

  • Supporting independent verification and benchmarking of codes/tools for regulatory purposes.
  • Supporting the quantification of safety margins.
  • Developing new models for safety, design and regulation.

Enhance our knowledge base for the development and assessment of regulatory/licensing requirements

  • Understanding ageing mechanisms and their effects on safety.
  • Developing experimental data and predictive models for nuclear power plants.
  • Investigation of small reactor technologies for Canada and principles in order to provide regulatory guidance and assessments. For more information on this, visit our Small Modular Reactors page.
  • Assess the effects of irradiation on the performance of advanced nuclear materials.

Support the development of new energy technologies

  • Assess the potential applications, prospects, and implications of SMRs and other advanced reactor technologies in Canada. For more information on this, visit our Small Modular Reactors page.
  • Economic modelling of nuclear systems and their applications.
  • Develop fabrication, testing, and testing methodologies for advanced fuels and fuel materials.
  • Evaluate fuel design requirements for the Gen-IV Canadian Supercritical Water Reactor (SCWR) concept and enablers for fuels for advanced reactors such as Gen IV and accident tolerant fuels.
  • Develop materials, processes and models for safe energy storage and conversion, including nuclear and renewable energy in the form of hydrogen and its derivatives.
  • Develop and demonstrate enabling technologies that support clean energy production, electrification in transportation and industrial sectors, and energy storage systems.
  • Develop and demonstrate applications of nuclear science and technology to Canada’s natural resource sectors (e.g., pipelines, oil and gas processes).