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November 16, 2020

CNL issues call for proposals for advanced reactor research program

CNL’s Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative encourages collaboration in nuclear research to accelerate deployment of advanced reactors in Canada

Chalk River, ON – November 16, 2020 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that it has issued a call for proposals for the second round of its Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative (CNRI) program. Launched in 2019, the CNRI program was established by CNL to accelerate the deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) in Canada. This year the program has grown in size and scope to incorporate all advanced reactor (AR) designs, including next-generation on-grid reactors and fusion technologies.

Among the many benefits of the annual program, participants are able to optimize resources, share technical knowledge, and gain access to CNL’s expertise to help advance the commercialization of SMR and AR technologies. The deadline for submissions to this second round of projects is January 4, 2021, and projects will be selected in the spring of 2021.

“As a clean, safe and low-carbon source of energy, advanced reactors represent the future of nuclear energy here in Canada,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice President of Science and Technology. “Making that vision a reality requires continued progress in the research and development of SMR and AR designs, technologies and systems. The first year of this initiative was a tremendous success in pursuit of that goal, and we look forward to collaborating with SMR and AR vendors from around the world to advance these technologies even further through the second round of this initiative.”

CNL received a strong response to its initial call for proposals for the CNRI program back in 2019, receiving applications from some of the world’s leading SMR vendors in Canada and abroad. CNL went on to partner with four companies – Terrestrial Energy, Kairos Power, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, and Moltex – on projects spanning focus areas that included market analysis, fuel development, reactor safeguards, tritium management, and others.

For the second intake, research proposals must align with topics that include advanced reactor systems, fusion research and nuclear clean energy technologies. Once a technical review of the proposal is completed by CNL, a project plan will be developed in coordination with the applicant to establish the scope, budget, and deliverables for the project. CNL will complete a final evaluation of the proposed project plans to make the final selection and approval of successful applicants.

“As with any undertaking of this magnitude, bringing SMRs and ARs to Canada requires significant research and planning across a number of different fields, from fuel and cyber security to safeguards and waste management,” commented Lou Riccoboni, CNL’s Vice-President of Business Development. “CNL is home to some of Canada’s leading experts and most advanced facilities and equipment, and we want to make these resources available to help developers advance their technologies. That’s where our CNRI program comes in, and we are already seeing strong interest from the industry for the second round.”

CNL is working to demonstrate the commercial viability of SMRs and ARs and to position itself as a global leader in prototype testing and technology development support, with the goal of siting an SMR before 2030. As part of the program, CNL issued an invitation in 2018 to SMR developers for the construction and operation of an SMR demonstration reactor at a CNL-managed site. At present, there are four proponents engaged in various stages of the process. CNL is also advancing the establishment of a Clean Energy Demonstration Innovation Research Park, which will provide opportunities for SMR and AR developers to demonstrate applications and integration methods for their technologies.

For more information on Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and its small modular reactor program, please visit For more information about the CNRI program, and details on submitting a proposal, 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].


CNL Contact:

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


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