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May 02, 2024

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories names Peter Elder as new Chief Scientist

Canada’s national nuclear laboratories welcomes seasoned nuclear executive as its Chief Scientific Officer 

Chalk River, ON – May 2, 2024 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, is pleased to announce that it has appointed Peter Elder as its new Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). With over 32 years of experience in the nuclear industry, including the management of complex scientific and regulatory issues, Mr. Elder is the ideal executive to help support the delivery and strategic planning of CNL’s Science & Technology mission, addressing challenges of national importance in clean energy, public health, environmental stewardship and national security, while at the same time working with CNL’s Indigenous Relations team to ensure that Indigenous knowledge systems are part of successful project outcomes.

In his new position as CSO, Mr. Elder will be responsible for working closely with CNL’s Science & Technology organization to help identify and evaluate commercial opportunities; pursue ambitious scientific research projects, programs and partnerships; and ensure that CNL’s technical capabilities are aligned with opportunities emerging within the nuclear industry and other related sectors. CNL’s Science & Technology mission is a growing, multidisciplinary science and engineering organization with a diversified portfolio of challenging programs in applied research, development and testing for government and commercial customers.

“On behalf of everyone at CNL, I want to offer my congratulations to Peter for his appointment, and to welcome him to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, where I know he will be a valuable addition to our executive team,” commented Jack Craig Jr., CNL’s President and CEO. “CNL’s Chief Scientific Officer has a wide range of responsibilities which require a talented and insightful leader to ensure that our work is not only innovative and addresses the country’s national needs, but also positions us to pursue future opportunities beyond our current scope of work. Peter has this skill set and vision, and we know he will have an immediate impact at CNL.”

Prior to his position at CNL, Mr. Elder most recently served as the Vice-President of Technical Support and Chief Science Officer at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), where he was responsible for the leadership of engineering and scientific staff that provide technical assessments and compliance oversight of nuclear facilities and applications in Canada. In that role, Mr. Elder also helped to establish the CNSC’s strategic direction with respect to nuclear science, research and innovation, and served as the organization’s executive champion for scientific integrity and knowledge management. Mr. Elder’s career at the CNSC dates back all the way to the mid-1990s, and encompasses a wide variety of progressive roles and responsibilities, before which he worked at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), bringing his career full circle.

Among the many projects that Mr. Elder will support are CNL’s small modular reactor (SMR) siting program, which is helping SMR vendors to advance their proprietary technologies towards deployment; its highly successful Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative (CNRI), which enables cost-shared research projects related to advanced reactors, hydrogen and health sciences; and its Actinium-225 production program, which has supplied research organizations with meaningful quantities of the rare medical isotope to help advance new cancer therapies. This is in addition to various research and development projects related to fusion energy, hydrogen energy, advanced nuclear fuels, environmental and health sciences, waste management and decommissioning, cyber security, and nuclear forensics.

“This is obviously an exciting time for CNL’s research and development organization, because the Government of Canada has given us the resources and the mandate to pursue ambitious projects in clean energy, public health, environmental stewardship and national security”, said Dr. Stephen Bushby, CNL’s Vice President of Science and Technology. “And this is taking place against the backdrop of a resurgence in nuclear energy here in Canada and around the world. Overall, we are being given a tremendous opportunity, and I know that Peter’s knowledge and expertise will help us make the most of it.”

If you’d like to learn more about CNL, including its Science & Technology portfolio, please visit 

About CNL 

As Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory and working under the direction of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (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


CNL Contact:

Philip Kompass
Director, Corporate Communications
[email protected]

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