Chalk River Laboratories

On November 3, 2014, all licences for the operation of Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) were transferred from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Ltd. (CNL). CNL is a new entity that will manage operations and perform all functions previously done by AECL at CRL. The CNSC has full-time dedicated staff onsite, who periodically do inspections to evaluate operations and to verify compliance with regulatory requirements and licence conditions.

Facility Information

Aerial view of AECL's Chalk River Laboratories

Aerial view of CNL's Chalk River Laboratories

Location: Chalk River, Ontario
Licensee: Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Ltd. (CNL)
Status: Operating
Licence issued: November 1, 2011
Licence expires: October 31, 2016
Start of commercial operation: 1945

Licensing documentation: Request a copy of CNL's Chalk River Laboratories licence and licence condition handbook by email

CRL is one of the most complex laboratories in Canada, with activities ranging from services and development related to the nuclear industry, to other science areas such as physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology, and engineering.

The 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 a large percentage 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.
AECL Website

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