CNL Chalk River Tapped For Kingston Reactor Project

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Chalk River’s nuclear expertise is being tapped for a major project in Kingston.

CNL’s Chalk River Labs has just been awarded an $8.5 million federal government contract to refuel a low-power reactor at Royal Military College in Kingston, called the "SLOWPOKE-2" reactor.

The three-year project will see a new core for the reactor manufactured in Chalk River.  

CNL experts will then remove the spent core and essentially refuel the reactor, adding another 30 years to its expected lifespan.

“As the original inventors of the SLOWPOKE reactor design and the only organization licensed to maintain the facility here in Canada, CNL is well-positioned to lead this complex refuelling project,” said Mark Lesinski, CNL President and CEO.

“In recent years, CNL has successfully delivered projects to conduct both a SLOWPOKE core conversion, as well as reactor decommissioning and removal. We have a skilled team in reactor physics and fuels to support the refuelling and commissioning phases, and all the necessary environmental remediation and radiation protection expertise to ensure the project is conducted safely", Lesinski added.

The “SLOWPOKE-2” reactor at RMC is used by the military for academic research, nuclear and radiological tests, and emergency preparedness training.   

"The reactor and associated laboratory equipment are used for the education of undergraduate and postgraduate students, for research and analytical applications, and for training and support of Canadian Armed Forces personnel. Specific capabilities include neutron activation analysis, neutron radioscopy and tomography, gamma spectroscopy, delayed neutron counting and liquid scintillation counting", says a description of the reactor on RMC's website.

The refuelling project will take nearly three years to complete.