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June 13, 2022

CNL employees recognized with John S. Hewitt Team Achievement Award

Completion of two key projects strengthen global security, address nuclear liability, and enable continued research 

Chalk River, ON – June 13, 2022 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that several members of its team have been recognized with the 2022 John S. Hewitt Team Achievement Award. The awards, presented on June 7, 2022 by the Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS) and Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) recognize outstanding teams for their contributions to Canada’s nuclear field, specifically highlighting teams whose work contributes to the introduction of new concepts, and the successful attainment of difficult goals.  For CNL and its collaborators, two projects were recognized: the refuelling of the Safe LOW-POwer Kritical Experiment (SLOWPOKE) reactor at the Royal Military College of Canada; and the completion of the repatriation of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL) inventory of highly enriched uranium (HEU) bearing target residue material (TRM).

“Our employees’ contributions to Canada’s nuclear field are truly commendable, and these two projects are no exception,” said Joe McBrearty, CNL President & CEO. “Through this work, we are enabling current and future research in support of Canada’s defence and armed forces; and, improving the safety of our site, reducing liabilities, and strengthening international security. Each and every team member should be proud of their contributions.”

SLOWPOKE Refuelling:  The SLOWPOKE is a low-power, self-regulating reactor, housed at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario. The reactor was re-commissioned by CNL on September 10, 2021, after a three-year process that saw the replacement of its spent core by a multi-disciplinary team of CNL employees.  The refuelling project extended the life of the reactor by another 30 years, allowing it to continue serving students, researchers and the Government of Canada into the next generation.

Congratulations to CNL’s  Bryon McConnell; Luke Yaraskavitch; Normand Lair; Brianna Beebe; Matthew Paluch; Justin Spencer; Paul Joynes; Andrew Bergeron; James Crigger; Mike Godin; Jeffrey Battersby; Barbara Pruszkowski; Robyn Soloan; David Garrick; Horatiu Barbulescu; Kendall Boniface; Sinh Nguyen; Carla De Waele; Barbara Schrader; Hala Ragheb; Julian Atfield; Geoffrey Edwards; Perley Walsh; Madalena Spencer; David Poff; Catherine Thiriet; Nikolaos Kotsios; Jeff DeJong; Shawn Leeder; Shane Audette; Mahmoud Karam; Gaige Moore; Geetika Sharma; Michael Girodat; Brenda Rose; Benjamin Wilson; Shuwei Yue; Marc Bouchard; Tracy Taylor; Dale Morris; Daniel Cluff; Nathan Lee; Patrick Morrison; Imtiaz Ahmed; Jeremy Kuehl; Kristy Barton; Keith Summers; and Michael Molson.

More information on the SLOWPOKE project can be found here: CNL completes refuelling of RMC’s SLOWPOKE-2 Reactor.

Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) Target Residual Matter (TRM) repatriation:

The TRM Repatriation Project, which was completed as part of a multi-year agreement between Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE / NNSA), reduces Canada’s nuclear liability with the elimination of a significant quantity of HEU. This material is one of the by-products of Molybdenum-99, a medical isotope that was previously produced at the Chalk River Laboratories. At its peak, more than 20 million diagnostic procedures around the world were carried out every year using Molybdenum-99 isotopes produced at the Chalk River Laboratories.

Although the task posed unprecedented political and technical challenges, the result is clear. The repatriation strengthened a commitment to non-proliferation, through the removal of existing weapons-grade material from Canada and the consolidation of global HEU inventories in fewer locations.

Said Fred Dermarkar, President and CEO of AECL: “The completion of these initiatives demonstrates CNL’s ability to develop and implement solutions to the most challenging nuclear projects on an international stage.”

Congratulations to CNL’s Catherine Lockley; Mark Chapman; Michael Molson; Bill Visneski; Sean Deighton; Natalie Sachar; Jim McKenna (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited); and, Pierre Tanguay (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission).

Further details on the HEU Target Residual Matter repatriation can be found here: Fuel Programme Completes Final Shipment of Target Residue Material to United States.

CNL commends the two award-winning teams for their commitment to continued excellence within the Canadian nuclear industry.

For more information on the 2022 John S. Hewitt Team Achievement Award, 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


CNL Contact:

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications

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