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March 16, 2022

CNL & University of New Brunswick form commercial partnership

Canada’s national nuclear laboratory and one of Canada’s top universities sign partnership agreement to pursue commercial work in nuclear power industry 

Chalk River, ON – March 16, 2022 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, and the University of New Brunswick, one of Canada’s top universities, are pleased to announce that they have entered into a partnership to pursue commercial opportunities for the nuclear power industry. The new agreement formalizes what was already a strong working relationship between the two organizations, who have collaborated on research related to reactor chemistry and other technologies in recent years through UNB’s Centre for Nuclear Energy Research (UNB CNER).

Nuclear reactor chemistry provides an indication of the reactor’s operating conditions, as well as the condition of the materials and components within the reactor. Electricity generated through nuclear reactors is low carbon, does not emit any greenhouse gases, and will continue to help Canada move towards a ‘net-zero’ energy system in the future. Under terms of the agreement, CNL and UNB CNER will explore business opportunities and pursue commercial contracts related to water-cooled nuclear power plant operations. Specifically, the organizations will focus on the delivery of chemistry support to power plant operators on a commercial basis, in the form of consulting and operational support services.

“CNL is very excited to enter into this partnership with the University of Brunswick, which combines the resources of both parties to fill a key void in chemistry services for water-cooled nuclear power reactors,” commented Joe McBrearty, CNL’s President and CEO. “Together, CNL and UNB have the collective expertise, infrastructure, equipment and technology to service water-cooled reactors, so this is a very natural fit for both parties. The partnership builds on a longstanding relationship with an organization that shares our commitment to technical excellence and customer service.”

“We are committed not just to deepening our knowledge, but to sharing that knowledge with our partners and colleagues, and to helping solve the complex challenges we face in our communities,” said Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, president and vice-chancellor of UNB. “This partnership recognizes the expertise and innovative solutions found here at UNB, and the specialists of tomorrow that we support. Congratulations to Dr. Cook and the CNER team, and welcome to our new partner, CNL.”

As part of the agreement, CNL and UNB have identified ‘specialty areas’ that makes use of both organizations’ industry expertise and other resources, including reactor chemistry specifications, purification system optimization, emerging plants issues, and research and development work. In addition to these focus areas, CNL and UNB will also investigate other opportunities where their complementary capabilities could be used to service nuclear power plants and develop and execute business plans to pursue these commercial opportunities.

As Canada’s national nuclear laboratory, CNL manages and operates a licensed nuclear campus and some of the most unique nuclear research facilities in the world on behalf of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), many of which can be leveraged in support of this agreement. CNL is also home to some of the world’s leading experts in a wide range of scientific and technical focus areas. In turn, CNL will benefit from the multi-disciplinary work that is delivered by UNB’s CNER, a diverse, multidisciplinary research institute that is home state-of-the-art testing facilities, including high-pressure, high-temperature test loops that can simulate a variety of nuclear process systems.

“Reactor sustainability is one of CNL’s core programs that helps to ensure the safe and continued operation of nuclear reactors across Canada and around the world,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science and Technology. “In certain key areas, we recognize that working with a like-minded partner can expand the capabilities that we offer and provide better service to our customers. That is certainly the case with the University of New Brunswick, and we look forward to working with them to establish and grow this new business venture.”

For more information on CNL, including its reactor sustainability services, please visit To learn more about the University of New Brunswick, including its Centre for Nuclear Energy Research, 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.

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories has the expertise and experience to sustain safe, reliable and efficient nuclear reactors. We support utilities, their suppliers, and industry research organizations by providing extensive research into operations and maintenance practices; life extension initiatives; and, innovation that develops technologies to support reactor modernization.

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 

About the UNB Centre for Nuclear Energy Research

UNB’s Centre for Nuclear Energy Research (CNER) was established in 1991 as a technical and research and development support for Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL) and NB Power, with support from the New Brunswick Research and Productivity Council (RPC). Over the past three decades, CNER has established and maintained technical expertise in the areas of chemistry and corrosion and has recently expanded into new areas, including supporting the research and development of small modular reactors (SMR). CNER operates numerous test systems that simulate the coolant circuits in nuclear power plants. As university research institute, CNER advances academic research, provides expertise in these core areas to the nuclear industry in Canada and abroad, and actively trains the next generation of highly qualified professionals that will lead the industry into the future.


CNL Contact:

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications

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