Restructuring of AECL’s Nuclear Laboratories

The Minister of Natural Resources announced on February 28, 2013 that the Government of Canada would engage in a collaborative procurement process with industry for the management and operation of AECL’s Nuclear Laboratories. The Government is seeking to implement a Government-owned, Contractor-operated (GoCo) model, as is done in other jurisdictions, such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

Under the new management model, the Nuclear Laboratories will focus on three key objectives:

  • Managing Canada’s radioactive waste and decommissioning responsibilities accumulated during the more than 60 years of nuclear research and development at the Chalk River and Whiteshell Laboratories.

  • Ensuring that Canada's world-class nuclear science and technology capabilities and knowledge continue to support the federal government in its nuclear roles and responsibilities — from health protection and public safety to security and environmental protection.

  • Providing access to industry to address its need for in-depth nuclear science and technology expertise. This will include ongoing access to the Nuclear Laboratories, at fair market rates, for owners and operators of CANDU reactors as well as the broader nuclear supply chain in Canada.

Recognizing the expertise and unique facilities at the Nuclear Laboratories, the Government of Canada is taking this step in restructuring AECL to put in place the conditions for Canada’s nuclear industry to succeed in the future, while reducing cost and risk for Canadian taxpayers over time.

The Government continues to assess the potential value of industry-driven nuclear innovation for Canada, based on a cost-shared approach. Decisions regarding future investment in an innovation agenda will include thorough consideration of expert and stakeholder contributions.

The health, safety and security of Canadians and the environmental stewardship in all aspects of the nuclear industry remain priorities of the Government of Canada. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Canada’s independent nuclear regulator, will continue to regulate all parts of Canada’s nuclear industry, including the Nuclear Laboratories during and after the restructuring process.

Associated Links

The Harper Government Announces New Direction for Nuclear Laboratories
Public Works and Government Services Canada (Procurement): AECL Restructuring
Backgrounder on Restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

For more information please contact:

Natural Resources Canada
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397 (teletype)

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
Telephone: 1-800-364-6989