Monthly Archives: May 2013

Nuclear Medicine

Proud to Work for an Organization that Supports Relay for Life

By Alex Wolf
Manager, Research and Education
Canadian Nuclear Association

Hi everyone. It’s Alex here from the CNA with a short, informal post to express my appreciation for our involvement in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraiser.

Those of you that know me know that I spent the early part of my career as a Radiation Therapist, and spent hours upon hours tending to patients bravely battling through their journey with cancer. Many people have of course gone through this with family and friends as well, and know exactly what I’m talking about. It is a very unique affliction, common to far too many people, and I believe it is a meaningful gesture for people to make time in their lives to recognize the impact this has on so many.

For this reason, I am grateful and proud to be a part of the CNA’s first Relay for Life team. As a tight-knit group of colleagues and friends, we’ll be walking all night as Team WalkNUclear on June 7th from 7pm-7am at Walter Baker Park in Ottawa.

Our connection with the Canadian Cancer Society highlights the role of nuclear research in providing advanced diagnostic and treatment options for optimizing cancer management. As someone who has directly used the tools provided by this research, and seen its patient impact first-hand, I am tremendously thankful to everyone who supports causes like Relay for Life and ensures we continue finding better ways to help people through an otherwise very difficult part of their life.

So thank you to the CNA for letting my job support a cause I believe in, and thank you to everyone who donates or gets involved otherwise.

You can donate to Team WalkNUclear here, if you feel so inclined.

Happy fundraising everyone!

-AW

Environment

How the Nuclear Industry Works for Better Wildlife Habitat

By Heather Kleb
Vice President
Canadian Nuclear Association

I appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development last week to talk about a side of the nuclear industry that many people don’t know about. We’re doing our part not only to protect, but also to improve wildlife habitat.

I welcomed the opportunity to provide three good examples: AECL’s work with chimney swifts, OPG’s attention to northern redbelly dace at its Darlington generating station, and Cameco’s initiative to further our knowledge about the boreal woodland caribou in northern Saskatchewan.

Chimney swift
Chimney swift

AECL came across the chimney swifts’ housing issue as it was planning to decommission a stack that hadn’t been used in 25 years. Swifts like stacks, but as companies innovate and heating systems change, stacks are disappearing. This habitat loss is threatening the species.

AECL sought out a chimney swift specialist at Trent University and launched a research program to find out more about the species, and what could be done if the stacks were torn down. The knowledge they gained will not only help them understand the species, it will also provide solid information for making decisions about the maintenance, or decommissioning of the stacks. They will also gain valuable information on how to build replacement habitat.

Northern redbelly dace
Northern redbelly dace

OPG, meanwhile, has been working to make life better for the northern redbelly dace, a fish the size of a minnow whose preferred waters are calm and clean. Those aren’t qualities you’d normally associate with a construction waste landfill. Recognizing the opportunity to enhance the environment, OPG developed the pond in a way that gave the dace a new home.

Woodland caribou
Woodland caribou

And then there’s Cameco’s work to help us to understand woodland caribou, which moved onto the threatened species list a decade ago. The federal government’s recovery strategy, published last year, brought to light some significant gaps in what we know about the species. Cameco stepped up and developed a woodland caribou monitoring program in northern Saskatchewan, and sponsored a larger provincial research initiative.

These three projects demonstrate our industry’s commitment to environmental protection, our experience in environmental restoration and our willingness to enter into partnerships in carrying out such projects. They also demonstrate how we need to find new opportunities for partnerships and projects to offset environmental effects.

 

Messages

Thanks to our Members for Joining us in April for Daffodil Month, a Canadian Cancer Society Fundraiser

By Alex Wolf
Manager, Research and Education
Canadian Nuclear Association

As many of you are surely aware, the CNA recently embarked on a partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society to help our industry unite to raise funds for cancer research. In April, as we celebrated Daffodil month, the CNA purchased over 1000 daffodil pins and distributed them to our members to help build awareness about this important campaign.

A few weeks later, we were thrilled to discover that two of our members, Cuttler & Associates Inc. and Promation Engineering Ltd. had made additional donations to the Canadian Cancer Society through this campaign! Thanks to their enthusiasm, we raised an additional $480! All of us at the CNA extend a big heartfelt THANK YOU to these two generous members.

Remember, this is just the first of many ways to get involved in CNA-Canadian Cancer Society campaigns. On June 7, we will be hosting our inaugural Relay for Life event here in Ottawa.

To find out more or join our team, visit www.cna.ca/fightcancer.

Uncategorized

Thanks for the Feedback – Have a Prize on Us!

By Alex Wolf
Manager, Research and Education
Canadian Nuclear Association

very year, we at the CNA put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into planning an Annual Conference and Trade Show that delivers exactly what our audience is looking for. And how do we know what they is? We ask, of course!

That’s why this year, we wanted to recognize the value we receive from delegate feedback, and we are proud to announce that two of our 2013 delegates are the lucky winners of our CNA Conference Feedback Prize Draw!

Rae Watson from Mirion Technologies Inc. is the winner of a $250 VISA gift card, and Diana Jahn from the University of Saskatchewan is the winner of a $50 Chapters gift card!

Thanks to everyone for filling out our feedback forms. We received over 200 complete feedback surveys in total – almost double our previous best. I guess that means you can all look forward to a well-informed program in 2014!

Thanks again, and see you before you know it at #CNA2014!

Guest Blog Nuclear Education

Everything You Wanted to Know about Nuclear Technology and Were Afraid They’d Ask

By Alex Wolf
Manager, Research and Education
Canadian Nuclear Association

Ever wanted to brush up on your understanding of nuclear technology? Well, if you’re interested in being in the Hamilton area next week, the Canadian Nuclear Society is putting on their Nuclear 101 course. It’s a two-day course being held on May 13-14 at McMaster University.

This is an excellent course for anyone to take – regardless of level of technical background. I’m a radiobiologist by trade, so certain things I obviously already knew, but I learned a lot about the history of nuclear in Canada and the engineering considerations involved in the fuel cycle. And it’s all delivered at a level for the layperson to understand.

I had a great time at this course, and it delivered exceptional value for the money and time spent. If you’re not able to make it to next week’s session, I highly recommend you stay posted on future events. A little knowledge goes a long way.

For more information, visit http://www.cns-snc.ca/events/nuclear-101-2013-05