CNL Issues Annual Call for Proposals for Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative

CHALK RIVER, Ontario, Sept. 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is pleased to announce that it has issued a call for proposals for the next round of its collaborative research program, the Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative (CNRI). Designed to accelerate the development and deployment of small modular reactor (SMRs) and advanced reactor designs, including next-generation on-grid reactors and fusion technologies, the highly successful program has facilitated ambitious research projects with vendors all around the world since it was launched in 2019.

CNRI allows participants to optimize resources, share technical knowledge and gain access to CNL’s expertise and the unique capabilities of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL) Chalk River Laboratories to advance the deployment of SMR and advanced reactor technologies in Canada. This year, CNL will accept project proposals that fall within focus areas which include advanced nuclear fuels, advanced materials and chemistry, reactor safety and application of nuclear capabilities to emerging technologies. The deadline for this intake is December 15, 2023, and projects will be selected in the spring of 2023.

“CNRI has been one of CNL’s most successful programs these past five years, drawing interest from reactor vendors all over the world, and advancing much-needed research into next-generation nuclear technologies,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science & Technology. “In addition to accelerating reactor development through a cost-shared model, the program enables CNL to develop its own in-house capabilities at a time when renewed interest in nuclear power continues to grow in Canada. It also positions CNL to serve as a national hub for reactor development, and I have no doubt that this intake will prove just as successful as previous years.”

Since the CNRI program was launched, CNL has received applications from many of the world’s leading reactor vendors, and has gone on to participate in collaborative research projects with companies that include General Fusion, Terrestrial Energy, ARC Clean Energy, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, and Moltex. These projects have enabled CNL to use it unique capabilities to fulfill the growing needs of the Canadian nuclear industry, while continuing to advance its own capabilities in a number of key areas, including advanced fuels, nuclear safeguards, and tritium management.

AECL, a Crown corporation with its vision to realize benefits to Canadians by driving nuclear innovation in Canada, supports the CNRI program as part of its efforts to foster collaboration and advance the development and deployment of clean energy solutions to help the Government of Canada in the fight against climate change.

The launch of the next CNRI intake comes as governments across Canada have announced numerous new nuclear energy projects and related funding commitments, demonstrating growing interest in nuclear power in provinces that include Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick. While CNL anticipates interest from the Canadian and international nuclear industry, it also believes that the CNRI program could also benefit public sector organizations who are evaluating the viability of new nuclear energy systems within a particular region, or who may be interested in broader energy assessments to understand how nuclear could fit in their jurisdiction.

“There is obviously a lot of testing that must be completed before we can bring these reactors online, but there is also an opportunity to better evaluate the economics of these technologies and how they can work in tandem with other clean energy solutions,” commented Denys Elliot, Director of Business Development at CNL. “And that’s really what the CNRI program is all about – helping to create the necessary conditions to enable a new era of clean, nuclear energy here in Canada, in order to fight climate change and help Canada achieve net-zero emissions.”

To learn more about CNL and its advanced reactor program, please visit For more information on the CNRI program, including application details, please visit

About CNL

As Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, and working under the direction of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), CNL is a world leader in the development of innovative nuclear science and technology products and services. Guided by an ambitious corporate strategy known as Vision 2030, CNL fulfills three strategic priorities of national importance – restoring and protecting the environment, advancing clean energy technologies, and contributing to the health of Canadians.

By leveraging the assets owned by AECL, CNL also serves as the nexus between government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community. CNL works in collaboration with these sectors to advance innovative Canadian products and services towards real-world use, including carbon-free energy, cancer treatments and other therapies, non-proliferation technologies and waste management solutions.

To learn more about CNL, please visit

About AECL

AECL drives nuclear innovation to deliver clean energy technologies and improve the quality of life of Canadians while caring for the land.

As a federal Crown corporation, AECL’s mandate is to enable nuclear science and technology, derive optimal value for Canada from AECL’s CANDU intellectual property and to protect the environment by fulfilling the Government of Canada’s radioactive waste and decommissioning responsibilities.

AECL delivers its mandate through a Government-owned, Contractor-operated model, whereby a private-sector organization, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, is responsible for managing and operating AECL’s sites.

Under the Government-owned, Contractor-operated model, AECL owns the sites, facilities, assets, intellectual property and responsibility for nuclear science and technology, environmental remediation and radioactive waste management. Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is responsible for the day-to-day management and operations of the sites.

To learn more about AECL, please visit

CNL Contact:
Philip Kompass
Director, Corporate Communications

AECL Contact
Director of Communications and Government Reporting
Jeremy Latta
Phone: 343-303-5448

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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