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December 07, 2022

AECL and CNL break ground on new nuclear research facility

Canada’s nuclear leaders gather to celebrate construction of the Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre (ANMRC) 

Chalk River, ON – December 07, 2022 – Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) are pleased to announce that they officially broke ground on the new Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre (ANMRC) at the Chalk River Laboratories. AECL President & CEO, Fred Dermarkar, and CNL President & CEO, Joe McBrearty, were joined by local officials and representatives of Canada’s nuclear supply chain to celebrate construction of the new facility.

Scheduled for completion in the spring of 2028, the ANMRC is a state-of-the-art research complex that will be one of the largest nuclear research facilities ever built in Canada.  When construction is complete, it will serve as the backbone of CNL’s research and development infrastructure. The 10,000-square-metre facility will feature 23 laboratories, accommodate 160 employees and consolidate key capabilities from aging facilities scheduled for decommissioning at the site.

“Atomic Energy of Canada Limited is looking to the future. ANMRC is central to our vision to drive nuclear innovation. It will be a modern, efficient, world-class nuclear lab to serve the needs of the Government of Canada and the Canadian nuclear industry – not only for today, but for decades into the future.” 

Fred Dermarkar, President & CEO, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited 

“This exciting new research facility will ensure that CNL maintains its position as a world leader in nuclear science and technology into the future. The investments that the Government of Canada has made into the revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories give us the facilities and infrastructure needed to confront some of the nation’s most pressing issues, from climate change to energy security. That is the responsibility we have as Canada’s national nuclear laboratory, and the ANMRC is at the centre of this vision.” 

Joe McBrearty, President & CEO, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories 

“To fight climate change and lower emissions, we must look to all non-emitting sources of energy, which very much needs to include nuclear energy. The Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre (ANMRC) is an important step forward in Canada’s long history as a peaceful user of nuclear power. The work undertaken here will help guide a new generation of nuclear technologies and ensure that our nuclear sector remains a reliable, safe, cost-effective and innovative source of energy and opportunity.” 

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources

Among other functions, the ANMRC is designed to support Canada’s clean energy goals by providing services critical to the life extension and long-term reliability of existing reactors, including Canada’s fleet of CANDU® nuclear power reactors and other designs from around the world. In particular, as the largest single capital investment in the revitalization of the Chalk River campus, the ANMRC will feature 12 new shielded hot cells that will enable post-irradiation examination of small modular reactor (SMR) and next-generation nuclear fuels in addition to  glovebox facilities to support the development of advanced fuel fabrication concepts.

The ANMRC is one of a series of new laboratories, office buildings and support facilities that are being constructed at the Chalk River Laboratories to revitalize the campus, thanks to a $1.2-billion investment from AECL on behalf of the Government of Canada. In addition to the ANMRC, a Science Collaboration Centre is under construction that will serve as CNL’s central planning and collaboration space. A new two-storey industrial-use support facility and a new site entrance building were recently completed, and several science facilities have been opened in the last few years, including a new hydrogen laboratory complex, a new materials research laboratory and a new tritium laboratory.

Major investments have also been made into infrastructure improvements for the campus, including new domestic water and natural gas service, a modern sanitary sewage treatment facility and a system to more effectively manage storm water.

For more information on CNL, including the revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories campus, please visit To learn more about AECL, please visit

About AECL

AECL is a federal Crown corporation with a mandate to drive nuclear opportunities for Canada. Working with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, AECL enables nuclear science and technology and manages the Government of Canada’s radioactive waste responsibilities. For more information on AECL, visit

About CNL 

As Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, and working under the direction of AECL, CNL is a world leader in the development of innovative nuclear science and technology products and services. Guided by an ambitious corporate strategy known as Vision 2030, CNL fulfills three strategic priorities of national importance – restoring and protecting the environment, advancing clean energy technologies, and contributing to the health of Canadians.

By leveraging the assets owned by AECL, CNL also serves as the nexus between government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community. CNL works in collaboration with these sectors to advance innovative Canadian products and services towards real-world use, including carbon-free energy, cancer treatments and other therapies, non-proliferation technologies and waste management solutions.

To learn more about CNL, please visit


AECL Contact:

Malcolm Bernard
Communications Advisor

CNL Contact:

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications

Photo caption: Fred Dermarkar, AECL President and CEO; Jim Burpee, Chair of the AECL Board of Directors; Sue D’Eon, Mayor of the Town of Deep River; and Joe McBrearty, CNL President and CEO, participate in a ground-breaking ceremony at the Chalk River Laboratories campus to celebrate construction of the Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre

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