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June 25, 2024

CNL team recognized by Canadian nuclear industry for innovation in decommissioning & environmental remediation

2024 Canadian Nuclear Society’s Innovation Achievement Award presented to CNL employees for pushing the boundaries of digital modeling in the field of decommissioning 

Chalk River, ON – June 25, 2024 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that its Innovation team has been recognized by the Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS) and Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) for excellence in innovation. The team was honoured to receive the 2024 Innovation Achievement Award at the 43rd annual CNS Annual Conference in Saskatoon last week, for pushing the boundaries of digital technology in the field of decommissioning and environmental remediation, including the creation of a comprehensive digital “twin” or model of the sites that are managed by CNL on behalf of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).

Established in 1991, the Innovation Award recognizes significant innovative achievement or the implementation of new concepts, which display clear qualities of creativity, ingenuity and/or elegance, and embody an impressive accomplishment in the nuclear field in Canada. Consisting of CNL employees Andrew Toomey, David Gaunt, Jeffrey Fortin and Kuwar Dalal, the Innovation team has helped to revolutionize planning and improve efficiency and safety in decommissioning and environmental remediation at CNL, while incorporating improved flexibility into these activities.

“At CNL, we are always striving to develop and integrate innovative technologies, capabilities and practices into our program of work, whether it is advancing clean energy technologies, pursuing next-generation medical isotopes, or restoring and protecting Canada’s environment,” commented Monica Steedman, Vice-President of Environmental Remediation Management (ERM) at CNL. “In this case, Andrew, David, Jeffrey and Kuwar had a vision that would allow CNL to transcend many of the physical limitations we face in decommissioning and environmental remediation. Through creativity, hard work and determination, they’ve now transformed the way we perform this work, and I am thrilled that the CNS committee recognized their brilliance with this award.”

On behalf of AECL, CNL manages all of Canada’s nuclear legacy liabilities, which includes carrying out decommissioning and site remediation activities at various sites across the country, as well as the delivery of some of the nation’s largest and most complex nuclear clean-up projects. In support of that work, the Innovation team at CNL set out to conduct some 3D modeling of key project facilities and features to help the team better visualize and plan their work. That project would evolve and grow to encompass the use of drones, robots and diverse camera technologies, ultimately going beyond traditional modeling boundaries to create a 3D replica of various CNL-managed sites that seamlessly integrate with existing site data.

That work has offered CNL profound and meaningful benefits in the delivery of their decommissioning and environmental remediation work, including the detailed analysis of radiological and conventional hazards without risking human exposure; the revolution of the planning process, which has improved efficiency; and the real-time modification of work environments, offering precise visualizations of proposed project changes. Overall, the modelling has enhanced performance in the delivery of CNL’s ERM program of work, which is something that the CNL also recognized as part of its own employee awards program.

“On behalf of the entire organization, we are tremendously proud of the resourcefulness and drive demonstrated by this team,” added Steedman. “They went above and beyond to improve our decommissioning capabilities, enhance productivity, and ensure worker safety.”

To learn more about the team, you can view a video highlighting their work at

About CNL 

As Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, and working under the direction of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), 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 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:

Philip Kompass
Director, Corporate Communications


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