MOU will enable continued collaboration, research and knowledge sharing as support for SMR grows across Canada

Chalk River, February 27, 2020 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, and New Brunswick Power (NB Power) are pleased to announce that they have finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – a partnership agreement that formalizes the already strong working relationship between the two organizations. The MOU establishes plans to pursue collaboration opportunities in nuclear research, including the development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology in New Brunswick.

“This agreement formally connects CNL with the growing research cluster of utilities, universities and academic research, and SMR vendors within New Brunswick,” explained Mark Lesinski, CNL President and CEO. “Momentum behind SMR technology continues to build all across this country, and collaborative agreements such as this enable us to share knowledge, facilities and other resources as we work together to move this technology towards deployment.”

The MOU outlines a number of specific areas of interest with a focus on demonstrating and improving the technical performance, safety and efficiency of sodium-cooled fast reactors and molten salt reactor technologies, two technologies currently being proposed for siting at NB Power’s Point Lepreau campus. Together, the two organizations will examine areas that are of shared interest across the SMR industry, including reactor siting and licensing, advanced fuel development and qualification, and materials performance and corrosion.

CNL offers a licensed nuclear campus and nuclear research facilities that are unique in Canada. This collaborative arrangements opens possibilities for researchers and engineers within the growing New Brunswick nuclear cluster to access CNL’s specialized facilities and capabilities, particularly in support of fuel irradiation and handling of active material. In turn, CNL will benefit from knowledge sharing and academic programs in place within New Brunswick, as well as the multi-disciplinary work delivered at the Centre for Nuclear Energy Research at the University of New Brunswick.  The MOU also outlines plans for the exchange of scientific and technical staff, consultancy services, and sharing of knowledge.

“NB Power and CNL have a long history of working together,” adds Brett Plummer, Vice-President Nuclear and Chief Nuclear Officer with NB Power. “This MOU reinforces this long standing relationship and highlights the type of collaboration needed to bring new advanced reactor technology to the market. We are excited to have CNL as part of the New Brunswick’s SMR Research and Development cluster.”

Both CNL and NB Power are actively working towards the deployment of SMRs.  As a low-carbon energy source, SMRs are increasingly viewed as an ideal technology to help reduce the reliance on fossil fuels such as oil and gas-fired generation, and their greater efficiency and flexibility of operations enable SMRs to complement renewables on an integrated grid or even support local area heating or industrial processes.

For more information on CNL, including its work to support the deployment of small modular reactors in Canada, please visit

About CNL 

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

For more information on the complete range of services Canadian Nuclear Laboratories please visit or contact


Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications, CNL

Marc Belliveau,
Director, Corporate Communcations, New Brunswick Power
1-506- 458-4203