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December 04, 2023

CNL announces 2023 Awards of Excellence winners

Annual employee recognition program celebrates excellence in nuclear science and technology, commercial services, workplace safety and public engagement at annual awards ceremony 

Chalk River, ON – December 4, 2023 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that over 250 CNL employees were recognized for exceptional organizational accomplishments at the company’s 2023 Awards of Excellence ceremony, which was held last week at Germania Hall in Pembroke. An annual program that recognizes employee excellence, the CNL Awards of Excellence were established to celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and teams whose hard work, determination and accomplishments helped CNL deliver its science and technology programs and major projects.

As Canada’s national nuclear laboratory, CNL provides nuclear science and technology products and services to federal and commercial customers, works to safely address Canada’s nuclear liabilities, and is managing the revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories campus. This year’s winners were recognized for accomplishments that include the development of new technical capabilities, key accomplishments in decommissioning and environmental remediation, improvements in organization health and safety, significant progress in Indigenous and public engagement, and the completion of important commercial projects, among others.

“The 2023 CNL Awards of Excellence winners come from various departments and sites all across the company, and the work that they do is diverse, requires unique strengths, and spans different work environments,” commented Joe McBrearty, CNL’s President and CEO. “But together, these teams helped make CNL a safer place to work, brought commercial success and opportunity to the company, advanced pioneering new technologies and capabilities, and helped grow CNL’s reputation here in Canada and abroad.”

D.F. Torgerson Discovery Award

CNL’s Awards of Excellence are organized into two categories. The first, known as the D.F. Torgerson Discovery Award, is named after CNL’s former Executive Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Dave Torgerson, and recognizes employees for the generation of new or innovative ideas and solutions, significant research or technical achievements, and new business initiatives. This year’s awards were presented to 44 employees from six groups for accomplishments that include:

  • The digital transformation of CNL’s Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation organization.
  • Research to enable the high-accuracy measurement of electrical resistivity, establishing a new capability at CNL.
  • The development of 3D printing capabilities using uranium dioxide.
  • The successful lab-scale demonstration of a unique process for clean hydrogen production.
  • The development and execution of a novel strategy to safely remove radioactive tanks and components as part of an important decommissioning project.
  • The completion of unique testing of irradiated fuel cladding, supporting the future growth of CNL’s business in an exciting new area.

Distinguished Merit Award

The Distinguished Merit Award is given to employees who have made exceptional contributions in productivity improvements, achievements of increased revenue, decreased operating costs, safety innovation or environmental initiatives, development or strengthening of new or existing partnerships, and the exploitation of these results. This year’s awards were presented to 215 employees from 23 groups for accomplishments that include:

  • Work to surrender the leases of various buildings and trailers, enabling a sustained cost savings for the company.
  • The adoption of new software to create a more advanced and innovative approach to radiation protection management.
  • The acquisition of Radium-226, material which supports the production of an exciting new medical isotope at CNL, Actinium-225.
  • Irradiated material testing on behalf of an important commercial customer.
  • Dosimetry research to better measure dose to the eye lens.
  • The implementation of a new learning management system at CNL.
  • Engagement activities related to the signing of a long-term relationship agreement with a First Nations community.
  • Work on the post-irradiation examination of light water reactor fuel.
  • The development and deployment of a new chemistry corrosion monitoring service.
  • The development and implementation of a new human performance training initiative.
  • Work as the Mission Lead of the Environmental Remediation Management (ERM) Program Management Office.
  • Leadership in nuclear education and outreach.
  • The development and hosting of cyber security incident response exercises.
  • Work to obtain an important agreement with a radiopharmaceutical supplier.
  • The delivery of key commitments related to the construction of new buildings at the Chalk River Laboratories campus.
  • Work on criteria changes for the Port Hope Area Initiative Community Report.
  • Chemical decontamination work for a commercial customer.
  • The development of expertise in multiscale materials modelling.
  • The completion of irradiated pressure tube burst tests for a commercial customer.
  • Organization of the Hydrogen Safety Workshop and the launch of the Canadian Hydrogen Safety Centre.
  • The design and operation of a tile hole drying system.
  • Work conducted as part of the Safety Excellence Team.
  • The safe removal of an active storage tank as part of the decommissioning of a key facility.

“On behalf of everyone at CNL, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, the Government of Canada and our many customers here in Canada and around the world, I want to extend my thanks and congratulations to the 2023 CNL Awards of Excellence recipients, who represent the very best of CNL, and who have shown what we are capable of as an organization,” added Mr. McBrearty.

For a full list of the 2023 CNL Awards of Excellence winners, including profiles and videos on the award-winning teams, please visit To learn more about CNL, 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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