Launch of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Publish Date: 30-OCT-2014 09:05 AM On November 3, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), will proudly launch a wholly-owned subsidiary named Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL). This is a major milestone in the restructuring of AECL that will ultimately revitalize Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization.
Queen’s researcher receives $10-million award Publish Date: 01-OCT-2014 11:10 AM Gilles Gerbier, newly arrived from France to take up a research position at Queen's University, had the small pin attached to his jacket by Minister of State for Science and Technology Ed Holder during a ceremony on campus Friday morning to represent his acceptance of a seven-year, $10-million award as the newest Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC).
AECL to GoCo: Do it right Publish Date: 17-SEP-2014 08:38 AM The government wants to offload the running of AECL’s Nuclear Laboratories, which employ over 3,400 highly skilled employees across Canada (a majority of them at Chalk River), under a different privatization model described as government-owned, contractor-operated (GoCo) management. So far, there’s little evidence the government has learned much if anything from past experience.
Nuclear innovation benefits Canada Publish Date: 21-AUG-2014 03:19 PM The Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation will soon be operating a new multipurpose cyclotron at the University of Saskatchewan. This cyclotron facility, one of the most advanced in the country, will be a source of medical isotopes and a centre of excellence for applying those isotopes for research into the diagnosis and treatment of conditions like heart disease, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Citizen scientists to help University of Victoria measure radiation Publish Date: 06-AUG-2014 08:01 AM A network of citizen scientists along the B.C. coast is being recruited to help researchers measure the potential risk of low-level radiation arriving from Japan after the tsunami and Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen is leading a $630,000 project to test water and seafood over the next three years.
Nuclear waste plan unsafe, panel hears Publish Date: 14-JUL-2014 09:16 AM A retired nuclear scientist has slammed Ontario Power Generation over its proposed $1-billion nuclear waste burial site on Lake Huron, saying the utility’s safety assessment contains some dangerous errors. In a submission to a federal review panel, nuclear chemist Frank Greening said OPG’s contractors seriously underestimated the potential impacts of a bombing in the vicinity of pressure tubes that have been removed from reactors and stored as waste. In contrast to OPG assurances, Dr. Greening said the zirconium in the tubes would burn fiercely, setting off chain reactions similar to those in cluster bombs.
Isotope maker Nordion sale faces final hurdle with shareholders Publish Date: 25-MAY-2014 01:51 PM Nordion Inc., the Canadian medical isotope provider with a long and storied history, is about to become part of an American company. Created almost seven decades ago as the radium sales department of Eldorado Mining and Refining Ltd., Nordion took over the sale of radioisotopes from the nuclear research facility at Chalk River, Ont., before becoming part of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. in the 1950s. It was part of MDS Health Group for two decades before being spun off as a standalone public company in 2010. And if shareholders give their okay at a meeting in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nordion will move into its next phase – as the subsidiary of a U.S. company based in Chicago.
Ottawa tourne le dos aux océans (French) Publish Date: 03-MAY-2014 01:40 PM Même si les océans sont indissociables du paysage canadien, plusieurs scientifiques estiment que le gouvernement Harper a tout simplement décidé de leur tourner le dos en supprimant des pans entiers de la recherche sur ces milieux fragilisés. « Pêches et Océans Canada n’a plus la moindre expertise en science environnementale dans le domaine de la contamination et de la protection des habitats marins contre la contamination », résume et déplore Émilien Pelletier, titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada en écotoxicologie marine à l’Université du Québec à Rimouski. Ottawa a effectivement imposé des compressions majeures au ministère chargé de veiller à la santé des océans qui bordent les côtes canadiennes. En plus des dizaines de postes supprimés à travers le pays, le gouvernement a fermé cinq laboratoires de Pêches et Océans, dont celui de l’Institut Maurice-Lamontagne de Mont-Joli. Il se consacrait précisément à l’écotoxicologie.
AECL privatizing 2,850 jobs at Chalk River Publish Date: 30-APR-2014 10:51 AM OTTAWA — Almost 3,000 federal AECL jobs at Chalk River are to be privatized, leaving employees worried and the venerable Crown corporation a shadow of its former self, according to the government’s restructuring plan. The move to a “government-owned contractor-operated” (GoCo) business model for Canada’s largest scientific research establishment is expected to strip almost all of the 2,850 Chalk River employees of their federal jobs, pension plan eligibility and other public service benefits. Sometime next year, their employment is to be transferred to an as-yet unknown private-sector company that is to assume control of Chalk River Laboratories, the last significant piece of the former Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. powerhouse that helped pioneer the global nuclear industry.
Concerns Over Measurement of Fukushima Fallout Publish Date: 16-MAR-2014 09:43 AM In the chaotic, fearful weeks after the Fukushima nuclear crisis began, in March 2011, researchers struggled to measure the radioactive fallout unleashed on the public. Michio Aoyama’s initial findings were more startling than most. As a senior scientist at the Japanese government’s Meteorological Research Institute, he said levels of radioactive cesium 137 in the surface water of the Pacific Ocean could be 10,000 times as high as contamination after Chernobyl, the world’s worst nuclear accident. Two months later, as Mr. Aoyama prepared to publish his findings in a short, nonpeer-reviewed article for Nature, the director general of the institute called with an unusual demand — that Mr. Aoyama remove his own name from the paper.
Troubled waters: Nuclear radiation found in B.C. may pose health concerns Publish Date: 14-MAR-2014 09:28 AM A radioactive metal from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan has been discovered in the Fraser Valley, causing researchers to raise the alarm about the long-term impact of radiation on B.C.’s west coast. Examination of a soil sample from Kilby Provincial Park, near Agassiz, has for the first time in this province found Cesium 134, further evidence of Fukushima radioactivity being transported to Canada by air and water.
AECL management contract bidding starts Publish Date: 10-MAR-2014 09:55 AM The announcement follows the government's February 2013 decision to involve the private sector in the management of the national nuclear laboratories. It is the second stage in the restructuring of AECL announced in 2009; the first stage saw the sale of AECL's former Candu Reactor Division to SNC-Lavalin subsidiary Candu Energy Inc in 2011. Interested suppliers are invited to submit a request for response evaluation (RFRE) to demonstrate that they have the experience, expertise and financial capacity to manage the nuclear laboratories. Qualifying suppliers would then engage in detailed consultations with the government with a view to submitting a request for proposal (RFP). The closing date for RFRE submissions is 6 August.
Four suitors for Chalk River Laboratories Publish Date: 06-MAR-2014 08:55 AM Four major consortiums will bid to become the new operators of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's Chalk River Laboratories. That was a piece of good news coming out of last week's Canadian Nuclear Association Conference and Trade Show in Ottawa where the future of the facility was front and centre. This is a critical year for Chalk River with the federal government initiating a significant restructuring of AECL by moving to a "government-owned, contractor-operated" (Go-Co) model, while deciding on the future of the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor.
Chalk River reactor will need to prove its ongoing worth to survive Publish Date: 28-FEB-2014 08:24 AM The fate of the venerable NRU nuclear research reactor at Chalk River rests on it delivering innovative scientific and economic benefits once medical isotope production ceases in 2016, the head of AECL said Thursday at the Canadian Nuclear Association’s annual Ottawa conference. Earlier, Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver told the several hundred nuclear industry delegates the government hopes to complete its reorganization of AECL into a government-owned contractor-operated (GoCo) partnership next year. He gave no details about which private parties are in the running.
No radiation in fish tested: Health Canada Publish Date: 21-FEB-2014 08:22 AM Canadian Food Inspection Agency; International Atomic Energy Agency; First Nations; Monitoring
Health Canada is citing two separate series of radiation tests on B.C. fish — along with ongoing ocean monitoring — as reasons why regular domestic seafood testing is not warranted in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident.
CFIA Consultations and Canadian Food Safety (PDF)
Publish Date: 19-DEC-2014 02:44 AM
As part of the 2014 CFIA Consultations, the Professional Institute of The Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) has submitted a detailed analysis of each of the following proposals:
Scientists Rally in Support of Federal Research
Publish Date: 27-NOV-2014 11:16 AM
On the morning of October 22, researchers and science staff from Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture & Agri-food Canada and the Department of National Defence demonstrated in Québec city at the entrance of Université Laval in support of research in the federal government.
The Canada First Research Excellence Fund seems to be the Harper government’s response to fierce criticism about its science policies. It was announced with much fanfare last week (although it had appeared in the spring budget) by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as an unprecedented investment to strengthen Canada’s position in the world of science. But it came on the heels of an uproar in the scientific community over the imminent shuttering of a world-class science facility at the University of Ottawa, highlighting precisely what many critics believe is wrong with the Conservatives’ approach to science.
Irrités par les interventions du gouvernement Harper, les scientifiques fédéraux ont concocté un répulsif inusité: des clauses à insérer dans leur convention collective. Reste à voir si le remède sera homologué.