CNL, AECL and Ontario Tech University Partner to Pursue Collaborative Research


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Leading research organizations sign Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on health and environmental sciences, clean energy and nuclear safety

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CHALK RIVER, Ontario, Nov. 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Canada’s nuclear Crown Corporation, are pleased to announce that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ontario Tech University to pursue collaborative research opportunities. The MOU represents the second agreement signed by CNL and AECL in recent weeks that is designed to encourage closer working relationships with Canada’s academic community, and establishes a framework between the organizations to advance collaborative research in health and environmental sciences, clean energy and nuclear safety.

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As part of the new agreement, the organizations will work together to facilitate joint research programs, foster the professional development of highly qualified personnel, develop academic and non-academic programming, and encourage shared access to specialized infrastructure. Overall, the MOU is intended to build a closer working relationship between the research organizations, enable knowledge mobilization, spur innovation and the development of intellectual property, and advance solutions to address both national and industry challenges.

“CNL has made it an organizational priority to work closer with Canada’s academic community, and this MOU with Ontario Tech University is one of a series of agreements that will formalize these really important relationships,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science and Technology. “Working in partnership with Ontario Tech University enables us to pool our financial resources, accelerate early-stage research, facilitate the transfer of knowledge, and work together to address the needs of the nuclear industry and the federal government. Most importantly, this MOU helps create dynamic and tangible professional growth opportunities for the next generation of Canadian scientists, engineers and technical professionals, all of whom will be needed to address the many challenges of tomorrow.”

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“AECL is proud to announce its partnership today with Ontario Tech University, an engaged partner that attracts the best and brightest students and researchers,” says Dr. Amy Gottschling, Vice-President, Science, Technology & Commercial Oversight, AECL. This is an exciting opportunity which helps fulfil our mandate at AECL – to enable nuclear science and technology in a strategic and programmatic way and in close alliance with strong academic partners like Ontario Tech. As part of our growing nexus, AECL, CNL and Ontario Tech will tackle our nation’s greatest challenges.”

“Ontario Tech University is excited to enter this dynamic and expanding collaborative phase with both AECL and CNL in strategic areas that include small modular reactors, hydrogen, and integrated energy systems,” commented Dr. Les Jacobs, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Ontario Tech University. “Through our strong history of energy and nuclear research expertise and programming, Ontario Tech plays a unique energy industry role as a developer of future talent and business solutions creator.”

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A key focus identified in the agreement is the development of highly-qualified personnel, a shared interest for all three parties. As the only university in Canada with an accredited Nuclear Engineering undergraduate program, which is the third-largest in North America, Ontario Tech plays a critical role in training the next generation of nuclear scientists, engineers and operators. Together, the organizations will explore opportunities to develop undergraduate and graduate learning experiences in the form of co-op and internship placements; encourage mentorship and networking programs for students; establish employment mechanisms for graduates and alumni; and facilitate the development of research chairs and research teams. The agreement also prioritizes shared access to some of the most advanced nuclear laboratories and research facilities, which includes the Chalk River Laboratories, as well as Ontario Tech’s research institutes and centres, such as the Brilliant Energy Institute, the International Atomic Energy Agency Collaborating Centre and the Centre for Cybersecurity and Resilient Systems.

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The recent agreements also align with AECL’s mandate to enable nuclear science and technology in Canada as well as CNL’s new corporate strategy, Vision 2030, which was launched earlier this year, and which identifies what CNL views as its central role within the future Canadian nuclear landscape. Serving as a national resource to all levels of government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community, CNL aims to work in concert with other organizations to help advance innovative Canadian products and services towards deployment, including carbon-free energy, cancer treatments and other therapies, non-proliferation technologies and waste management solutions.

To learn more about CNL, including its research projects and programs, please visit If you would like to learn more about Vision 2030, please visit

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About CNL
As Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, and working under the direction of 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 Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (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.

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To learn more about CNL, please visit

About AECL
AECL is a federal Crown corporation with a mandate to drive nuclear opportunities for Canada. AECL enables nuclear science and technology, owns the Chalk River Laboratories and other sites, and manages the Government of Canada’s radioactive waste responsibilities. It directs and evaluates CNL’s work through contracts.

In business since 1952, AECL designed and developed the fleet of CANDU nuclear reactors that serve Canada and five other countries. It also delivered more than one billion isotopes worldwide to detect and treat cancer. Today it delivers value for Canadians through supporting 14 federal departments and agencies, as well as the global nuclear industry.

For more information on AECL, visit

CNL Contact:
Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at



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