Back To Top
January 22, 2018

CNL begins public hearing on licence application

10 year operating licence will enable delivery of world-leading nuclear science and continued revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories campus 

Chalk River, ON, January 22, 2018 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, will appear before the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Canada’s federal body responsible for nuclear safety, for three days beginning January 23, 2018, to discuss its application for a licence to operate the Chalk River Laboratories. This licence aligns with CNL’s Long Term Strategy, a ten-year plan which positions the organization as a global leader in nuclear science and technology; an organization that is commercially successful, respected for its scientific capabilities, and home to world-leading expertise based out of a modern, efficient and collaborative campus environment.

“Our application is based on a track record of solid safety and environmental performance with trends of improvement in many important areas,” explains Mark Lesinski, President & CEO. “This licence will provide CNL with the stability and certainty necessary to achieve our vision for CNL, and we are fully confident that we will continue to safely operate the site under this proposed period.”

CNL’s Long Term Strategy includes a renewed science and technology mission reflective of globally important priorities. This is being delivered in parallel with constructing new infrastructure, decommissioning redundant facilities and performing environmental remediation.  This plan is underpinned by a defined government funding commitment from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), which provides very important stability through the contract period.

Over the years ahead, CNL will continue with construction of the Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre, a complex which will include new shielded facilities, and many advanced active laboratories for research involving active or irradiated materials; a new electrical switchyard, expanded natural gas service, potable water lines, and sanitary sewer system, all of which improve the safety and reliability of the current systems; and, construction of modern, energy efficient facilities to accommodate maintenance and operations activities, logistics and security, and a new business centre.

The coming licence period also includes ambitious goals in science and technology such as:

  • the siting of a new, small modular reactor on the Chalk River Laboratories site before 2030;
  • development and demonstration of a suite of targeted alpha therapy compounds (an emerging medical isotope technology) by 2022;
  • expansion of our program in hydrogen, with a goal to play a leading role in the demonstration of hydrogen-based bulk transport by 2020;
  • demonstration of a new advanced fuel fabrication concept by 2020; and
  • the development, commercialization and deployment of a nuclear industrial control cyber intrusion detection and mitigation system by 2022.

This longer licence period also reflects CNL’s performance over the past licence period, and its commitment to continuous improvement.

“CNL has demonstrated solid safety, security and environmental performance with improvement trends in several important areas,” commented Dave Cox, Chief Nuclear Officer. “Through the past licence period, CNL implemented new programs and supporting processes that have resulted in significant improvements in operational safety and reliability.  We have also made physical changes, such as upgrading and installing a significant amount of new equipment. And, through our extensive capital investment program, we have seen additional upgrades to our infrastructure that improve safety and reliability of operations.

“This performance is based on mature programs built upon decades of experience, with recent injection of international best practices introduced under the GoCo framework,” adds Lesinski. “This performance record firmly supports our case for a 10-year licence.”

To learn more about CNL’s Long-Term Strategy, revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories, or to review current environment or regulatory performance reporting, 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 Canadian Nuclear Laboratories services, please visit or contact [email protected].



Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications
CNL, 1-866-886-2325

Recent News