Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

CNL is Canada's premier nuclear science and technology laboratory managed by Canadian National Energy Alliance. Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world-class, sustainable national nuclear laboratory delivering science and technology structured to meet current, and adapt to changing, Canadian federal, global commercial, and public priorities in four program areas: Energy, Health, Environment, and Safety & Security.

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About CNL

CNL stands proud as a global leader advancing nuclear science and technology. The world comes to CNL to solve the toughest technological challenges. CNL has the most effective industrial partnerships of any national laboratory. Its campuses are home to a vibrant community of the world’s brightest innovators. Its people know they are making a difference in the lives of people around the world. CNL is valued by the Canadian government and customers in industry.

Core Values
  • Respect
  • Teamwork
  • Accountability
  • Integrity
  • Excellence

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Mission Statement

  • Provide the world with sustainable energy solutions including the extension of reactor operating lifetimes, hydrogen energy technologies, and fuel development for the reactor designs of tomorrow. Together, with partners, CNL will demonstrate the commercial viability of advanced reactors including the small and very small modular reactor.
  • Continue to support radiochemical therapies and work collaboratively with medical/educational institutions and pharmaceutical companies to pioneer new alpha therapies for cancer treatments that save countless lives.
  • Enhance national and global nuclear safety and security by developing new techniques to interdict contraband nuclear material, respond to nuclear incidents, prevent nuclear accidents and protect against evolving cyber threats to nuclear power plants.
  • Leverage all of CNL’s capabilities for commercial success in Canadian and international markets.
  • Restore and protect Canada’s environment by removing and responsibly managing AECL’s nuclear liabilities, and developing decommissioning technologies that can be shared with others.


This strategy outlines a vision for CNL over the next ten years, which positions the organization as a global leader in nuclear science and technology; an organization that is commercially successful, respected for its scientific capabilities, and home to world-leading expertise based out of a modern, efficient and collaborative campus environment.

Highlights include:

An investment of more than $1.2 billion over ten years in the facilities and infrastructure of the Chalk River Laboratories. This investment enables:

  • the construction the Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre, a complex which will include new shielded facilities, and many advanced active laboratories for research involving active or irradiated materials
  • a new electrical switchyard, expanded natural gas service, potable water lines, and sanitary sewer system, all of which improve the safety and reliability of the current systems
  • construction of modern, energy efficient facilities to accommodate maintenance and operations activities, logistics and security, and a new business centre

An exciting program in science and technology which includes ambitious goals such as:

  • the siting of a new, small modular reactor on the CRL site by 2026
  • development and demonstration of a suite of targeted alpha therapy compounds (an emerging medical isotope technology) by 2022
  • expansion of our program in hydrogen, with a goal to play a leading role in the demonstration of hydrogen-based bulk transport by 2020
  • demonstration of a new advanced fuel fabrication concept by 2020
  • the development, commercialization and deployment of a nuclear industrial control cyber intrusion detection and mitigation system by 2022

Details on the work to address legacy waste and nuclear liabilities, while preparing the campus for a period of significant revitalization.

Here are the links to the CNL website for a complete version of the Long-Term Strategy:

Science &Technology Organization

Over the next 10 years, CNL will take a leadership role in transforming the nuclear future of Canada. The ambitious S&T agenda is driven by:

  • Government priorities
  • Needs of industry
  • The future of the sector
  • Revenue opportunities

To drive the S&T strategic objectives, CNL has established seven strategic initiatives:

  • Life extension and long-term reliability of existing reactors
  • advanced fuel fabrication
  • small modular reactors
  • decarbonizing the transport sector and remote communities in Canada
  • the Alpha Research Institute
  • nuclear cyber security
  • and the Centre for Nuclear Forensics and Response

CNL’s Science and Technology capabilities are underpinned by diverse expertise that will evolve to meet the demands of industry and the government.


Over the next decade, CNL will be transforming its Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) through the revitalization of essential site infrastructure, the decommissioning of aging infrastructure and a significant investment in new, world-class science facilities. The transformation will position CNL to remain a leader in developing peaceful and innovative applications from nuclear technology through its expertise in physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology and engineering.