CNL’s Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ (CNL) Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative (CNRI) is a program to support collaborative Advanced Reactor (AR) and Small Modular Reactor (SMR) research projects with third-party proponents in Canada. The goal of the program is to accelerate the deployment of safe, secure, clean, and cost effective AR/SMRs in Canada.

Annually, CNRI will issue a call for proposals (CFP), and CNL will enter into joint R&D projects based on the results of a review of these proposals. The objective of CNRI is to make CNL’s technical capabilities and expert knowledge available and accessible to the AR/SMR community in order to equip them with the technical support required to progress towards AR deployment in Canada.

The benefits of these joint R&D projects will be shared between CNL and the applicant.

Work will begin as early as April 2021 and can continue until March 2023.

For more information, or to submit your proposal, email

Focus Areas

A Call For Proposals will be issued annually as part of the CNRI program. The 2020/21 CNRI CFP emphasizes low technology readiness level work to support technology development in order to accelerate future deployment of advanced reactors.

Table 1-1
2019 CNRI Focus Areas



Focus Area Description


Advanced Nuclear Systems (including SMR)

  • Vibration and Wear
  • Materials research (modelling and experimental)
  • Fuel research (modelling and experimental)
  • Thermo-hydraulic research (modelling and experimental)
  • Severe accident analysis
  • Cyber Security
  • Non-proliferation



  • Tritium Management
  • Thermo-hydraulic research (modelling and experimental)
  • Materials research (modelling and experimental)


Nuclear Clean Energy System

  • Materials research (modelling and experimental)
  • Thermo-hydraulic research (modelling and experimental)
  • Safety/Security analysis of integrated systems
  • Energy Storage (modelling and experimental)

Collaboration with Multiple Applicants

CNL encourages joint proposals with multiple applicants that tackle common R&D issues. As part of the CNRI program CNL will help facilitate this by connecting applicants that have expressed interest in collaborating on similar topics or challenges.

Applicants are responsible for identifying focus areas where they are interested in a potential collaboration within two weeks of the CNRI Launch. CNL will inform applicants of any other parties who expressed interest in collaborating in a similar area. Applicants are encouraged to work together to submit a joint proposal for consideration.

Joint proposals should clearly define the roles, responsibilities and contributions of each applicant involved.