AECL, CNL strengthen partnership with University of New Brunswick

June 13, 2023, 9:39AMNuclear News

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories have signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) to pursue collaborative research opportunities.

The MOU continues AECL and CNL’s efforts toward developing a partnership network with Canada’s academic community, AECL said in its June 9 announcement, adding that the agreement “builds on what has been an already close relationship with one of the country’s leading universities.”

According to AECL, the MOU is designed to nurture even closer relations with UNB’s research community, enable knowledge mobilization, spur innovation and the development of intellectual property, and provide solutions that address national and industry challenges.

Specifics: Under terms of the agreement, the parties will explore research within defined focus areas that leverage each partner’s unique expertise and specialized facilities, including, among other areas, cybersecurity, hydrogen, medical isotopes, and small modular reactors. The organizations will also seek out professional development opportunities within the scope of work, with the goal of offering enhanced learning experiences for their nuclear scientists, engineers, students, and technical professionals.

Signers’ language: “CNL, AECL, and the University of New Brunswick have a long and rich history of collaboration that includes the development of innovative technologies and the delivery of operational support services,” said Jeff Griffin, CNL’s vice president of science and technology. “This agreement will bring our organizations even closer together, and better leverage our existing capabilities to explore new areas of research, while expanding professional development opportunities for our personnel and students. Overall, we are excited to build on what has been a productive relationship with a long-time, trusted partner.”

Amy Gottschling, AECL’s vice president of science, technology, and commercial oversight, commented, “As we drive nuclear innovation for Canada, it is critical that we collaborate with Canadian universities and research organizations in order to best leverage our collective expertise and capabilities in Canada. Our partnership with the University of New Brunswick is doing just that and builds on a solid foundation of shared critical expertise in nuclear research and technology development.”

UNB vice president for research David MaGee noted that “under the direction of Dr. William Cook, UNB’s CNER [Centre for Nuclear Energy Research] has established a fruitful partnership with CNL and AECL,” and that the new MOU “will open even broader dialogues and opportunities for researchers at UNB to play an active role in Canada’s energy landscape.”

Background: AECL is a crown corporation with a mandate to enable nuclear science and technology, derive optimal value for Canada from its CANDU intellectual property, and protect the environment by fulfilling the Canadian government’s radioactive waste and decommissioning responsibilities. According to its website, AECL “delivers its mandate through a government-owned, contractor-operated model, whereby a private-sector organization, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, is responsible for managing and operating AECL’s sites.”

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