Chalk river reactor restart approved by Canadian Commission

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Chalk River Laboratories, NRU Reactor
Image source: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) has received approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to reload fuel in the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River, Ontario, and proceed with restarting the reactor--an important milestone in the NRU return-to-service project.

This decision was made by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) following a public hearing held July 5, in Ottawa.

The CNSC concluded that the AECL is qualified to carry out the activities that will be permitted under its current operating license and that the AECL will make adequate provisions to protect the environment, the health and safety of persons, national security and implement international obligations.

AECL expects to resume isotope production by the end of July. The NRU continues to be in a safe shutdown state with return to service activities in progress including the reactivation of the NRU’s auxiliary operating systems.

“A detailed and integrated work plan has been developed for all maintenance, testing, system configuration and training activities. Progress is being made on completing the many tests, system configurations and tasks required prior to actual re-start of NRU. These activities will continue over the next few weeks,” said AECL.