MoU strengthens Canadian nuclear research

26 January 2023

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) and the TRIUMF particle accelerator centre aims to foster closer ties between the two nuclear research organisations and leverage their complementary activities as they explore and pursue collaboration opportunities in nuclear and materials science and technology.

Inside TRIUMF's main accelerator building (Image: CNL/TRIUMF)

Areas of cooperation covered by the new agreement include the delivery of joint research projects and the sharing of scientific information and equipment, focusing on topics that are of mutual interest to both organisations. These include: health sciences; materials sciences and radiation; analytical and imaging technologies; the processing and management of highly radioactive components; cyber security; and accelerator, particle detection, and reactor technologies.

CNL manages and operates sites across Canada on behalf of federal Crown corporation Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL), providing a focal point for government, the nuclear industry, the private sector and the academic community to work together and supporting the safe and reliable operation of Canada's nuclear fleet, as well as addressing government priorities in clean energy, public health, environmental stewardship and national security. TRIUMF, established in 1968 in Vancouver, is home to a 520 MeV cyclotron - the largest accelerator of its type in the world - as well as the world's most powerful superconducting linear accelerator for rare isotope production.

Many of CNL's missions intersect with those of TRIUMF, which conducts advanced research to address fundamental and applied problems in particle and nuclear physics.

The new agreement is an opportunity to accelerate key areas of research and innovation, make better use of the organisations' respective resources to accomplish shared goals, and continue leveraging national science infrastructure, the organisations said. "While the agreement identifies key topics of interest, CNL and TRIUMF view these focus areas as a starting point to their collaboration, and believe that there are many other areas that the organisations can explore as they begin to work more closely with one another," they added.

CNL's Vice-President of Science and Technology Jeff Griffin described the agreement as an opportunity "to really grow" the organisations' relationship. "As Canada's national nuclear laboratory, we see ourselves as a national asset that can be leveraged to help enable knowledge mobilisation, spur innovation and the development of intellectual property, and advance solutions to address both national and industry challenges. That is the spirit behind this agreement with TRIUMF, and we look forward to exploring the many ways that we can work together to help achieve this mission," he said.

TRIUMF Director Nigel Smith said the agreement opens "new and exciting opportunities for synergy" in Canadian nuclear science: "This will serve to enhance Canada's global science leadership on a number of fronts, from making advances in accelerator science and nuclear research to training the next generation of scientific leaders and fortifying Canada's strategic advantage in the development and production of critical life-saving medical isotopes."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News