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January 02, 2024

CNL successfully completes Gentilly-1 sampling campaign

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has completed an important sampling campaign at the Gentilly-1 (G1) prototype reactor site in Bécancour, Quebec. CNL was able to obtain scrapes, swipes and camera footage of a fuel channel and booster port in the reactor. The sampling results will be used to plan the future dismantling of the reactor into segments as part of the decommissioning of the G1 site, which CNL operates on behalf of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.

The Reactor Segmentation group that performed the work included staff from mechanical equipment design, facilities decommissioning and radiation protection. The team was able to safely access the fuel channels to deploy tooling. The tooling was equipped with a high-definition video camera and a gamma radiation probe that transmitted high-resolution videos and readings. Samples and video footage of the booster port were captured in a temporary enclosure area.

Over the next few months, CNL will be performing similar sampling work at the Douglas Point reactor in Southwestern Ontario. Lessons learned from the G1 sampling campaign have provided valuable information that has been incorporated into the Douglas Point work plans.

As part of the mission to address Canada’s historic nuclear legacy liabilities, CNL’s Reactor Segmentation group was created to plan, prepare and support the dismantling of seven legacy nuclear reactor cores used for research, including the reactors at the G1 and Douglas Point sites. CNL plans to seek licensing approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to dismantle the reactors and place the dismantled material in safe, long-term storage. Work on the dismantling is planned to start within the next decade.

CNL has been engaging with the public and with Indigenous communities and organizations on the decommissioning of the reactor sites and will continue to do so as part of the planning, regulatory licensing and execution stages for the dismantling, transportation and storage of the reactors.

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