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October 04, 2022

CNL issues annual call for proposals for CNRI program

For fourth intake of collaborative research initiative on small and advanced reactors, CNL expands program to invite project applications from Canadian universities 

Chalk River, ON – October 04, 2022 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to issue a call for proposals for the fourth round of its Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative (CNRI). CNL’s President and CEO, Joe McBrearty, announced the new intake during a speech delivered earlier today at the Canadian Nuclear Society’s (CNS) 4th International Conference on Generation IV and Small Reactors (G4SR-4) in Toronto, Ontario.

The CNRI program continues to grow, and this year has expanded to accept applications from Canadian universities, who are invited to submit project ideas that fall within this round’s designated focus areas. As part of its new corporate strategy, Vision 2030, CNL is working to better enable collaborations between all levels of government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community. CNRI will act as a key program for CNL’s efforts to serve as a nexus between these sectors, and the addition of Canadian universities is an important step towards that goal.

“We must close the innovation gap here in Canada, and that means working in collaboration with like-minded organizations to discover and advance solutions that address critical national needs,” commented Mr. McBrearty. “That is the intent of the CNRI program, and it is at the centre of CNL’s new strategic vision. And as part of that goal, this year we have expanded what has already been a very successful program to incorporate participation from Canada’s academic community. It is only by working better together that we can bring a new generation of reactors online here in Canada to combat climate change.”

Launched in 2019, the CNRI program was established by CNL to accelerate the deployment of new innovations, including small modular reactor (SMR) and advanced reactor (AR) designs, next-generation on-grid reactors and fusion technologies, by connecting reactor vendors with the facilities and expertise within Canada’s national nuclear laboratories. Among the many benefits of the program, participants are able to optimize resources, share technical knowledge, and gain access to CNL experts to help advance the commercialization of AR technologies.

For the fourth intake, research proposals must align with topics that include advanced fuels, advanced materials and chemistry, reactor safety, component development and testing, and application of nuclear capabilities to emerging technologies. As in previous rounds, once a technical review of each proposal is completed, CNL will work with the proponent to develop a plan to establish the scope, budget, and deliverables for the project. CNL will complete a final evaluation of the proposed project plans before making the final selection and approval of successful applicants. The deadline for this round of submissions is December 21, 2022.

Since the CNRI program was launched, CNL has received applications from many of the world’s leading reactor vendors, and has gone on to participate in collaborative research projects with companies that include General Fusion, Terrestrial Energy, ARC Clean Energy, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, and Moltex. Together, these projects enabled CNL to grow its capabilities in a number of promising new areas, including work to advance fuel development and manufacturing processes for new SMR designs, nuclear safeguards for a molten salt reactor design, tritium extraction techniques for fusion reactors, and the fabrication of innovative new reactor fuels.

“Given the growing interest in CNRI, not just in Canada but around the world, it is clear that this program fulfills an unmet need for vendors and developers working to advance next-generation clean energy technologies,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science & Technology. “And now that CNRI is reaching maturity, it only makes sense to extend the program to incorporate Canadian universities, giving them better access to all of the facilities, technologies and expertise that we maintain at Canada’s national nuclear laboratories.”

To learn more about CNL and its advanced reactor program, please visit For more information on the CNRI program, including application details, please visit

About CNL

As Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, 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


CNL Contact:

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications

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