CNL issues call for third round of proposals under Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative

October 6, 2021, 7:29AMNuclear News

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) last week issued a call for proposals for the third round of its Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative (CNRI) program.

More information about the program, including application details, can be found online.

Launched in 2019, the program is aimed at accelerating the deployment of small modular reactor and advanced reactor designs, including next-generation on-grid reactors and fusion technologies. The deadline for this round of submissions is December 22, 2021, with projects to be selected in the spring of 2022.

In a September 29 announcement, CNL said that it is planning to expand the program next year by launching a CNRI “health stream,” for which it will invite organizations to submit research proposals related to health sciences, radiobiology, and medical isotope technologies, including targeted alpha therapy.

Testimonial: “Here in Canada and around the world, it has become clear that nuclear energy must play a major role in the fight against climate change in order to preserve the health and well-being of our environment,” said Jeff Griffin, CNL’s vice president of science and technology. “To do so, we have to move swiftly to bring the next generation of nuclear reactors on line, which is a comprehensive process that requires extensive research into the viability and safety of new SMR and advanced reactor designs. The CNRI program was designed to accelerate this process, and the consistent interest in the program has shown just how much it has been embraced by the international vendor community.”

Round three: Research proposals for the CNRI’s third round must align with topics that include advanced fuels, advanced materials and chemistry, reactor safety, and component development and testing, according to CNL. As in previous rounds, once a technical review of each proposal is completed, CNL will work with the applicant to develop a plan to establish the scope, budget, and deliverables for the project. The lab will complete a final evaluation of the proposed project plans before making the final selection and approval of successful applicants.

Past projects: Since the launch of the CNRI, CNL has participated in collaborative research projects with companies such as General Fusion, Terrestrial Energy, Kairos Power, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC), and Moltex. These projects have covered focus areas that include market analysis, fuel development and inventory management, reactor safeguards, and tritium management, among others. They have also enabled CNL to expand its capabilities into a number of new areas.

For example, in April of this year, CNL announced that it had fabricated fully ceramic microencapsulated (FCM) fuel pellets, a proprietary reactor fuel designed by USNC for its Micro Modular Reactor. Funded through the CNRI, the FCM project represents the first time that TRISO fuel has been manufactured in Canada.

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