AECL Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (Crown Corporation for Sale)
Chalk River Laboratories

Chalk River LaboratoriesAECL’s major research and development (R&D) efforts take place at the Chalk River Laboratories (CRL). Scientists and engineers perform research and product development to support and advance CANDU nuclear reactor technology and the facility has world-class expertise in physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology, and engineering. 

Environmental scientists, and a rigorous Environmental Protection Program, ensure that the impact of operations at the Chalk River site are negligible on the health and well-being of employees, the public and on the environment.

The National Research Universal (NRU) reactor, one of the world’s most versatile research reactors, has been operating at CRL since 1957. NRU is Canada’s only major materials and fuel testing reactor used to support and advance the CANDU design. It also produces neutrons used by the National Research Council’s Neutron Beam Centre to investigate and non-destructively study all types of industrial and biological materials. Lastly, NRU continues to produce the majority of the world’s medical isotopes used in both the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases. NRU does not produce electricity, but rather tests the fuels and materials for CANDU reactors which AECL designs and sells around the world.


  • thoriumMSR
    February 22, 2011 - 9:34 pm | Permalink
    (this was a post on

    Ontario government’s $87 Billion dollar plan proposes large chunk for nuclear energy which is mostly refurbishing of 10 existing reactors plus 2 new reactors assuming the nuclear industry gets their act together. As you may be aware the Canadian government Crown Corporation AECL is for sale. The trouble is the price is enormous and the new investor will need to inherit* a fleet of reactors that are state of the art but have a history of cost over runs and delays. If the new investor knew that delays and accurate predictions were possible it would be a more attractive package.

    The Toronto Star’s coverage:
    Ontario energy plan raises tough issues
    Toronto Star Graphic

    *Some exchange I had with DV82XL for a little more clarification:

    Rick:I have a question. The $22 Billion deal to sell AECL.
    Does that include all of the reactors?

    DV82XL: AECL no longer owns any of the power reactors in Canada. They only have the research reactors at Chalk River, and to the best of my understanding that facility is not part of the deal. I believe the plan is to have Chalk River and Whiteshell labs run by the National Research Council, but that hasn’t been firmed up as of this date.

    Rick: OK so the 22 Billion entitles the buyers to what exactly?
    It seems a very hefty price for not owning any reactors.
    What responsibilities would they have?

    DV82XL:Well that’s the rub, isn’t it?

    As I understand it the only thing that any potential buyer wants is the CANDU division, the refurb division, and the fuel fabrication business, and yes $22B is a bit much. Remember this is the asking price.

    The Gov’mt wants the purchaser to take the whole thing, and keep the jobs going, and that seems to be the sticking point.

    Rick: Who owns the plants then?

    DV82XL: Ontario Power Generation owns and operates the Pickering(6 units) and Darlington(4 units) and Bruce Power(8 units) owns and operates the Bruce Station.

  • thoriumMSR
    February 23, 2011 - 1:12 am | Permalink

    SNC-Lavalin, OMERS in talks to hook up on AECL purchase
    – Globe and Mail – Tues., Feb. 22, 2011

    AECL may be settled on a merger. The final stages are in effect.

    Here’s what Wikipedia says about OMERS:
    “OMERS, officially the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, is a pension fund created by statute in 1962 to handle the retirement benefits of local government employees in the province of Ontario, Canada. It has become one of the largest institutional investors in Canada. About 70% of the plan is funded by investments, and 30% by pension contributions. As of 2008, OMERS has about 52 billion Canadian dollars worth of net investment assets. The system now includes firefighters, police, emergency services staff, Children’s Aid Society workers, school staff other than teachers, and transit and hydro workers.”

  • March 20, 2011 - 12:34 am | Permalink

    This is a good summary of Nuclear Energy balance and a short analysis of the industry.

  • October 28, 2011 - 12:55 am | Permalink
  • November 5, 2011 - 12:28 am | Permalink
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