News Release

CNL seeks input on small modular reactor technology

Chalk River, Ontario, CANADA, 2017 June 1 Today, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) begins a discussion around Small Modular Reactor (SMRs) technology in Canada, and the role that Canadian Nuclear Laboratories can play in bringing this technology to market, by launching a Request for Expressions of Interest on SMRs.  

Over the past decade, small modular reactors (SMRs) have increasingly been recognized as a potential alternative to large-scale nuclear reactors.  This clean energy technology holds opportunities for Canada, particularly for remote communities or industrial sites.  SMRs may offer several advantages over traditional technologies, notably: the ability to purchase and construct in a modular way, decreasing up-front capital costs through simpler, less complex plants, and a reduced staff complement.  Designs can also bring greater efficiency and systems which are inherently safe. In addition to electricity generation, SMRs could be integrated in overall energy plans with applications as varied as district heating, co-generation, energy storage, desalination, or hydrogen production. 

CNL is seeking input from SMR technology developers, potential end users, and any other interested parties and stakeholders, including potential host communities, unions, the nuclear supply chain, and research and academic institutions.  This Request for Expressions of Interest aims to build an understanding of the existing capabilities, technology gaps, needs and requirements both from technology developers and other stakeholders, and overall market interest, so that CNL can position itself as a key partner to the development and deployment of SMRs. 

The Request for Expressions of Interest is open from June 1 to July 31; visit to learn more or to provide your response. 

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is advancing science and technology for a clean and secure world. Building on decades of experience in supporting and deploying numerous prototype, demonstration, research, and power reactors, CNL is well-positioned to support the development and deployment of SMRs, including hosting a demonstration facility at one of its locations. 


“We intend to begin the generic site selection and licensing process for the first demonstration or prototype reactor later this year. At this preliminary stage, these activities will be technology neutral, and inclusive of all potential technologies. We need to hear from the broader SMR development community, to ensure that their needs are being captured.”

Kathryn McCarthy, Vice-President, Research & Development, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories 

“We really consider this as an open discussion with industry and the public, on how or where they see SMRs fitting within the larger energy picture in this country. This is an opportunity for anyone to share their views, raise their questions and suggest potential applications for this technology.” 

Mark Lesinski, President & CEO, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories 

“Atomic Energy of Canada Limited is excited about the possibilities that Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) may bring to Canada. CNL’s ambitious program in nuclear science and technology, including its goal to be the host of the first demonstration SMR in Canada, will enable it to become a world-class, nuclear science and technology organization, with important benefits for Canada’s innovation, clean economy, and green infrastructure goals.”

Richard Sexton, President and CEO, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited 

‘’Small modular reactors have great potential as an emerging technology that could supply low-carbon energy for a range of users, including remote communities, mining operations and the oil and gas industry. The discussion that CNL is initiating will help to inform our ongoing Generation Energy consultation, which invites Canadians from all walks of life to share their ideas and participate in helping define Canada's energy future.”

Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources 

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. 

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 services Canadian Nuclear Laboratories please visit or contact 


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Photos to accompany this story are available for download at CNL’s flickr site: 


Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications
CNL, 1-866-886-2325