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November 29, 2022

CNL and AECL continue pursuit of closer ties with Canada’s academic community through MOU with McMaster University

Signing of third Memorandum of Understanding with leading Canadian university further expands partnership network for Canada’s national nuclear laboratories 

Chalk River, ON – November 29, 2022 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, is pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Canada’s nuclear Crown Corporation, and McMaster University to pursue collaborative research opportunities. The MOU represents continued progress for Canada’s national nuclear laboratories as it works to build closer ties with Canada’s academic community, and is the third agreement signed in recent weeks with a leading Canadian university that is designed to advance collaborative research in health and environmental sciences, clean energy and nuclear safety.

The foundation of the MOU is the shared focus areas of the research organizations, many of which could serve as the source of collaborative projects and research grant applications, including small modular reactors, hydrogen, materials characterization, medical isotopes and radiochemistry. As in other recent agreements, the MOU is intended to nurture closer relationships with McMaster University’s research team, enable knowledge mobilization, spur innovation and the development of intellectual property, and advance solutions to address both national and industry challenges.

“AECL, CNL and McMaster University all share a long history in advancing Canadian nuclear science and technology, and that serves as a really strong and important foundation for the agreement that we have signed here today,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science and Technology. “The nuclear industry has the potential to address many of the challenges that we face here in Canada, from climate change to cancer, but it is incumbent upon us as an industry to pool our resources and work together towards shared goals. That is the driving force behind CNL’s ongoing outreach and engagement with the academic community, and we are thrilled to further grow our relationship with McMaster University as part of that effort.”

This agreement is a key step on our path forward,” said Amy Gottschling, AECL Vice President, Science, Technology and Commercial Oversight. “AECL is working to create a nexus for driving nuclear science and technology and innovation, and we can only achieve this with robust academic contributions such as those we know McMaster already delivers.  We look forward to integrating our research efforts to advance strategic goals and objectives in the areas of health, safety and security, energy and the environment.”

Dave Tucker, McMaster’s assistant vice-president, research (nuclear) says the partners will work together to advance research that addresses the nation’s most pressing challenges, including the growing need for clean energy solutions.

“As Canada’s Nuclear University, McMaster is proud to work with CNL and AECL to optimize and expand our complimentary nuclear facilities, research assets and educational programs to create the specialized nuclear workforce and technologies that Canada needs to meet its Net Zero ambitions,” he says. 

Together, CNL, AECL and McMaster operate some of the most unique and advanced nuclear facilities and research laboratories, not just in Canada, but around the world. McMaster University is home to a suite of world-class nuclear research facilities. The McMaster Nuclear Reactor (MNR), which is used to conduct research and produce medical isotopes, is considered the most powerful research reactor in Canada at a Canadian university. Meanwhile, the Chalk River Laboratories, which is managed by CNL on behalf of AECL, is home to a wide range of advanced nuclear facilities, including laboratories dedicated to nuclear fuel development and testing, biological research, analytical chemistry, thermalhydraulics and mechanical testing, to name just a few. By offering improved access to these facilities, the three organizations hope to not only pursue joint research projects and programs, but also to cultivate a more talented and diverse workforce within the industry, by offering richer, more dynamic learning opportunities for the next generation of nuclear scientists, engineers and technical professionals. 

The recent agreements also align with CNL’s new corporate strategy, Vision 2030, which was launched earlier this year, and which identifies what CNL views as its central role within the future Canadian nuclear landscape. Serving as a national resource to all levels of government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community, CNL aims to work in concert with other organizations to help advance innovative Canadian products and services towards deployment, including carbon-free energy, cancer treatments and other therapies, non-proliferation technologies and waste management solutions.

To learn more about CNL, including its research projects and programs, please visit If you would like to learn more about Vision 2030, please visit

CAPTION: Karen Huynh, AECL’s Director of Science and Technology Programs; Dave Tucker, McMaster’s Assistant Vice-President, Research (Nuclear); and, Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science and Technology, gather together to sign a new agreement that will encourage collaborative research between the organizations in health and environmental sciences, clean energy and nuclear safety.

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 Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (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

About AECL

AECL is a federal Crown corporation with a mandate to drive nuclear opportunities for Canada. AECL enables nuclear science and technology, owns the Chalk River Laboratories and other sites, and manages the Government of Canada’s radioactive waste responsibilities. It directs and evaluates CNL’s work through contracts.

In business since 1952, AECL designed and developed the fleet of CANDU nuclear reactors that serve Canada and five other countries. It also delivered more than one billion isotopes worldwide to detect and treat cancer. Today it delivers value for Canadians through supporting 14 federal departments and agencies, as well as the global nuclear industry.

For more information on AECL, visit

About McMaster University

Located in Hamilton, Ontario, McMaster University is among Canada’s most research-intensive universities, and the nation’s preeminent nuclear research institution. McMaster has maintained active research programs in nuclear science and engineering for more than 65 years. The McMaster campus houses a unique suite of world class nuclear research facilities anchored by the McMaster Nuclear Reactor – a multi-purpose research reactor that provides neutrons for medical isotope production and scientific research. McMaster University’s nuclear research facilities enable discoveries in medicine, clean energy, nuclear safety, materials and environmental science, while providing cancer treatments for more than 70,000 patients every year.

To learn more about McMaster, visit


CNL Contact:

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications

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