Canada has a network of institutions and experts involved in nuclear R&D. While AECL plays an important role, nuclear research and development also takes place at the National Research Council, nuclear medicine companies and hospitals, several universities, Laval’s Nordion Gamma Centre of Excellence, Vancouver’s TRIUMF subatomic research facility, the Saskatchewan cyclotron, nuclear mining companies and fuel fabricators and other organizations.
Nuclear R&D produces advances across Canada’s economy. Nuclear R&D supports materials testing and product improvements (mainly through nondestructive neutron beam testing, which is essential for advanced parts and materials development). It also supports medical products and services, training and development of scientists and engineers, and other activities that are of value across more than one industry. It also supports Canada’s ability to manage radioactive materials, meet our international non-proliferation commitments, and safely operate our existing fleet of nuclear facilities.
Whatever may be the outcome of AECL’s restructuring, a Strategic Review of Nuclear R&D is required to help this country’s nuclear research network make the transition toward a new governance model.