News Release

CNL celebrates 60 years of NRU operation

Community Invited to “Tell Their Story” About Reactor’s Impact on 
Canadian Nuclear Science & Technology

Chalk River, August 30, 2017 – CNL’s National Research Universal (NRU) reactor was a landmark achievement in Canadian science and technology when it went into service on November 3, 1957. Now, 60 years later, as NRU enters its final months of operation, CNL is turning to the community for assistance in celebrating the important role that NRU has played in improving the quality of life of Canadians and people around the world.

“For six decades, NRU has served as the cornerstone of the Canadian nuclear industry and a critical research tool for academics and organizations all across the globe,” said David Cox, CNL’s Vice-President of Operations and Chief Nuclear Officer. “The science and technology carried out in this facility has touched the lives of millions of people around the world, but it holds a special place in the hearts of residents here in the Ottawa Valley.”

To commemorate this milestone, CNL is asking the community to submit positive stories about NRU and the impact it has had on their lives. The stories can be anything that comes to mind, big or small – the people you worked with as a reactor operator, the experiments you were involved with while working at NRU, the partnerships developed during the vessel repair, or even how isotopes production has impacted somebody you know as a patient. Once collected, the stories will be compiled into a commemorative book and made available to current and former staff.

In addition to the book, and the exhibit at the recent Open House, CNL also has many other activities planned to celebrate NRU’s 60th anniversary, including an NRU Friends and Family Day, a Senior Reactor Shift Engineer Appreciation Day and other commemorative events that are also in the works.

“The Chalk River site is going through an exciting period of revitalization, with a $1.2 billion investment in new facilities and infrastructure. With the pending closure of NRU, this is a great time to celebrate our bright future, while paying homage to the incredible achievements of our past,” added Cox.

If you have a story to share, CNL would love to hear from you. Please visit  to submit your story, or if you would prefer simply email it directly to CNL via CNL asks that you include your name, association with NRU and contact information. 

One of the most versatile research reactors in the world, the NRU reactor has served Canadians for sixty years as a supplier of industrial and medical radioisotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases, a major Canadian facility for neutron physics research, and to provide engineering research and development support for CANDU® power reactors.


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