Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has issued a call for proposals for the fourth round of its Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative (CNRI). CNL said the CNRI programme continues to grow, and this year has expanded to accept applications from Canadian universities, who are invited to submit project ideas that fall within this round’s designated focus areas.

“We must close the innovation gap here in Canada, and that means working in collaboration with like-minded organisations to discover and advance solutions that address critical national needs,” commented CNL’s President and CEO, Joe McBrearty. “That is the intent of the CNRI programme, and it is at the centre of CNL’s new strategic vision. And as part of that goal, this year we have expanded what has already been a very successful programme to incorporate participation from Canada’s academic community. It is only by working better together that we can bring a new generation of reactors online here in Canada to combat climate change.”

The CNRI programme was launched by CNL in 2019 to accelerate the deployment of new innovations, including small modular reactor (SMR) and advanced reactor (AR) designs, next-generation on-grid reactors and fusion technologies, by connecting reactor vendors with the facilities and expertise within Canada’s national nuclear laboratories. Participants are able to optimise resources, share technical knowledge, and gain access to CNL experts to help advance the commercialisation of AR technologies.

For the fourth intake, research proposals must align with topics that include advanced fuels, advanced materials and chemistry, reactor safety, component development and testing, and application of nuclear capabilities to emerging technologies. As in previous rounds, once a technical review of each proposal is completed, CNL will work with the proponent to develop a plan to establish the scope, budget, and deliverables for the project. CNL will complete a final evaluation of the proposed project plans before making the final selection and approval of successful applicants. The deadline for this round of submissions is December 21, 2022.

Since the CNRI programme was launched, CNL has received applications from many of the world’s leading reactor vendors, and participates in collaborative research projects with companies that include General Fusion, Terrestrial Energy, ARC Clean Energy, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, and Moltex. Together, these projects enabled CNL to grow its capabilities in a number of promising new areas, including work to advance fuel development and manufacturing processes for new SMR designs, nuclear safeguards for a molten salt reactor design, tritium extraction techniques for fusion reactors, and the fabrication of innovative new reactor fuels.

By leveraging the assets owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), CNL serves as the nexus between government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community.

Photo courtesy of CNL