News Release

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories celebrates a successful 2018

CNL concludes another busy year with continued progress on campus revitalization, environmental remediation projects, and scientific advances

Chalk River, ON – December 20, 2018 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to celebrate the close of another successful year.

“As we turn our attention to 2019, I am very proud of the team and the great work we accomplished this past year,” commented Mark Lesinski, CNL President & CEO. “We are building closer ties with our partners in the supply chain, as well as our local stakeholders, Indigenous communities, and international collaborators. Our sites are becoming more efficient and environmentally sound, with investments underway to reduce the environmental footprint of our operations, and address historic liabilities. And we are building a new, modern campus to attract and retain the best and brightest minds in nuclear science, while delivering the results demanded by commercial customers from around the globe.”

With a team of more than 3,000 dedicated staff there are many accomplishments worthy of recognition, which include:

• The Chalk River Laboratories site’s skyline has significantly changed. Over the past few years, CNL has decommissioned and demolished 67 buildings and structures—representing almost 173,000 square feet, with nine buildings decommissioned so far this year alone. Collectively, this work represents the retirement of more than $75 million in legacy liabilities, and paves the way for the new science and technology campus under construction.

• Early groundwork is underway on the construction of three new buildings on the Chalk River campus: the Business Hub, Logistics Centre, and Support Facility. These capital investments are part of a larger revitalization of the Chalk River site, enabled by a $1.2 billion investment from the Government of Canada and AECL.

• CNL took a bold step towards achieving its vision of siting a small modular reactor (SMR) demonstration unit by 2026. Earlier this year, CNL announced the invitation process for parties interested in siting, and received four participants in the first intake. Evaluations are currently underway.

• The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Canada’s federal body responsible for nuclear safety, approved CNL’s application to renew the operating licence for its Chalk River Laboratories nuclear campus for a ten-year period. Approval of CNL’s licence follows an extensive application process that included a three-day hearing in Pembroke, Ontario, where CNL responded to detailed technical questions about its safety record and operational performance.

• TRIUMF, Canada’s particle accelerator centre, and CNL have agreed to pursue a strategic partnership around the commercial production of Actinium-225, a rare medical isotope that has the potential to serve as the basis of new ground-breaking cancer treatments.

• CNL continued to participate in important conversations around its environmental remediation projects in Chalk River, Whiteshell and the NPD site, responding to feedback and questions from the public and regulators to better inform and evolve the projects.

• CNL continued to build connections with global leaders in nuclear science and technology, signing agreements with the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Advanced Materials Research Centre, the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), and Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science, among many others.

• CNL implemented new programs, processes and equipment that have resulted in significant improvements in operational safety, security and reliability. And, through its extensive capital investment program, CNL has seen additional upgrades to its infrastructure that improve the safety and reliability of operations, and reduce its environmental footprint.

• Since the shutdown of the NRU reactor on March 31, 2018, NRU staff have continued to deliver on project milestones. NRU was safely defueled three months in advance of its target date, and the team has permanently shut down a significant portion of the reactor systems. NRU staff also received the Harold Smith Lifetime Achievement Award at the Canadian Nuclear Society annual conference in June.

• Through the Port Hope Area Initiative, CNL is remediating historic low-level radioactive waste located at existing waste management facilities in Port Hope and Port Granby. • Research & Development staff in the RD-14M facility concluded a difficult series of reactor safety experiments related to “post-Fukushima” actions. This project, one of many delivered this year through CNL’s Centre for Reactor Sustainability, has put the organization at the forefront of international research into reactor safety.

• Our team in Whiteshell safely self-performed complete demolition and decommissioning of an active facility. • In May, CNL opened the Innovation Centre for Cybersecurity in Fredericton. Along with commissioning of this world-class facility, the workforce is growing to meet demand for our services.

For more information on CNL, 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, defense, 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 Canadian Nuclear Laboratories services, please visit or contact


Media Contacts:

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications CNL,