Tag Archives: Chalk River

Guest Blog Nuclear Outreach Nuclear Pride

NA-YGN Chalk River Chapter Hosts International Networking Event

Below is a guest blog from our friends at NA-YGN’s Chalk River Chapter. They recently put on a very successful professional networking event that included delegates from Canadian and American chapters and offered the opportunity to learn more about the activities at Chalk River Labs and network with their peers. Please read on for a fulsome summary.

On November 8th and 9th the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN) Chalk River Chapter and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) hosted 50 delegates from Canadian and American Chapters, originating from several different nuclear sites throughout North America for the inaugural professional networking event: Past, Present and Future in Nuclear.  Overall, the event was a great success and provided delegates with a significant opportunity to learn about the varied research projects currently ongoing at Chalk River and network with peers from other nuclear stations throughout the continent.

Attendees at NA-YGN’s professional networking event

The event kicked off Thursday evening with the Past section, where Joan Miller welcomed the delegates on behalf of AECL as NAYGN’s Executive Sponsor.  Morgan Brown, as the keynote speaker, then gave an entertaining and informative seminar on the history of nuclear science and technology in Canada and, specifically, Chalk River’s role in shaping and development of the Canadian nuclear industry.  The talk touched briefly on the role of the CANDU nuclear reactors in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick and their respective energy distribution grids, and proceeded to lead into the historical reasons why Canada went with a heavy water reactor design.

Delegates were treated to a tour of Chalk River Laboratories.

A tour of Chalk River Laboratories on Friday November 9th was the main focal point of the event – showcasing the Present State of the Nuclear Industry in Canada.  The delegates experienced several aspects of the Laboratories, showcasing the numerous different areas of current nuclear research and development with several industry and academic partners.  Some of the areas showcased included mechanical systems design, nuclear non-proliferation detection equipment, the effects of radiation on biological systems, and the chemical production of hydrogen.  The driving focus behind these tours was to increase the awareness of the important role AECL and Chalk River serves to the Canadian nuclear industry in our partners throughout the industry.

Friday evening served complete the event, with a panel discussion focused on the Future State of the Nuclear Industry in Canada.  Executives from AECL, the Canadian Nuclear Association, and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, were in attendance to provide insight into the future role of nuclear technology in supplying baseload electricity, the future of small modular reactors in the Canadian North, as well as the focus of future public outreach activities and what could be done to increase positive public perception of nuclear technology.  The initial series of questions asked to panel members and the ensuing discussions were quite insightful, with an excellent opportunity provided for delegates to ask questions related to future of the industry following.

Executives from AECL, the Canadian Nuclear Association, and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission participated in a panel on the future role of nuclear.

Overall, the inaugural NAYGN Past, Present and Future of Nuclear event was a great success …

Nuclear Education Nuclear Outreach

Taking the Grocery Store Conversation Online

Last Wednesday, I was invited to speak to a group of Women-in-Nuclear (WiN) members from the Eastern-Ontario chapter at AECL in Chalk River. We got together to “talk nuclear,” but more specifically, how to talk nuclear on social media.

With the WiN Eastern Chapter Executives. L to R: Bev Kidd, Laura Allardyce (me), Solly Karivelil, and Anne Giardini

There is a lot of interest in social media among members of the nuclear industry, among people who are enthusiastic about the work they do, the technology they support, and the communities in which they live and do this impassioned work. There is a lot of pride in Canada’s nuclear industry – pride in our home grown, low-carbon CANDU technology, in the development of nuclear medicine technologies for diagnostic and therapeutic cancer treatments, and in how safe our operations are every day and for the last 50+ years. We want to share our stories with the rest of Canada and the world.

Social media is people having conversations online. It’s the same as meeting your neighbor in the grocery store and chatting about your day. The only difference is, it’s a bigger grocery store and you’re bumping into more neighbors. The stories you tell online are the same ones you would tell your neighbors.

We shouldn’t be afraid to show our pride online, to share interesting information on Facebook, to tweet a link to a good news story on Twitter, or to tell our own story on a blog.

As the keeper of the community (I maintain the TalkNUclear channels on Facebook, Twitter, this blog, etc), I have a lot of discussions about using social media strategically. I think this can sometimes get us confused about what the purpose of social media is, which is this: at the end of the day, social media is about relationships, not transactions. We are not talking to Canadians to get them to buy more nuclear, we’re not selling a product. What we are doing is talking to Canadians about the mutually beneficial relationship we’re engaged in. Our industry produces low-carbon energy, medical technologies, food and materials safety advancements – all of these things that benefits Canadians every day. Our social media strategy is just to talk to Canadians about these incredible benefits, just like we all do when we run into our neighbors at the grocery store.

A good place to start is with us. There are so many ways to “Talk Nuclear”

Nuclear News Nuclear Pride Nuclear Safety

FireFit and TopCop are Coming to Chalk River!

This July 7 and 8, FireFit and TopCop are coming to Chalk River! AECL is hosting this competitive event for the first time in the area, at the Laurentian Hills Fire Department – Chalk River Branch. The event is free and open to the public and media.

FireFit and TopCop Competition in Chalk River

What is FireFit and TopCop?

FireFit and TopCop are competitions that simulate the fire fighting and security tasks most often performed in emergency situations. The purpose of the FireFit and TopCop events is to showcase the demands of fire fighting and of being a security/ law enforcement professional. In both competitions, participants are challenged to race through designated courses and perform emergency tasks, all while dressed in the full equipment of a typical fire fighter or police officer at the scene of an emergency.

“By hosting this event in Chalk River, AECL can display the exemplary capabilities of the emergency personnel we have on site. It also allows us a great opportunity to work with our community partners. These competitions give the public some insight into the rigorous training and state of readiness that these employees maintain,” said Brian Mumford, Director of Emergency and Protective Services at AECL.

Activities at Firefit/TopCop Weekend

  • Firefit Race – Free (10:30 a.m. Saturday)
  • TopCop Race – Free (10:30 a.m. Sunday)
  • Petting Zoo – Free
  • BBQ – $
  • Pig Roast Dinner – $10 (6:30 p.m. Saturday)

AECL has worked alongside local organizations and community members to help pull this event together, including the Town of Laurentian Hills, CFB Petawawa and a number of other sponsors.

For more information about Firefit and TopCop please visit www.firefit.com or www.beatopcop.com.  A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

2012 is a milestone year for AECL as it also celebrates 60 years as Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization. For more information about AECL, please visit www.aecl.ca.

Nuclear News Nuclear Outreach Nuclear Pride Nuclear R&D Waste Management

Express your Interest in AECL

On February 9, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources launched a process inviting Expressions of Interest in the activities of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL’s) Nuclear Laboratories.  This process will allow the Government to benefit from the experiences of organizations, domestic or international, involved in the management or restructuring of nuclear science and technology or radioactive waste management.

The government indicated that information gathered through this process will help inform the AECL restructuring process.  The deadline for submissions is April 2.

This is obviously an important opportunity for our member organizations to present their views to the Government on this key issue.

This is your opportunity to have a say in the future of our nuclear science and technology industry. As a member of Canada’s nuclear community, you have valuable experience and knowledge to share towards informing the process that will determine the future of the labs. If you do nothing more than express your confidence in the future of Canada’s nuclear science and technology industry, you will have played an important part in this process.

You can write to the Honourable Minister Joe Oliver at:

Honourable Joe Oliver, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Natural Resources
162 Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Email: joe.oliver@parl.gc.ca

We at TalkNUclear are always interested in hearing your views on this and other issues of collective interest to our industry. Will you make a submission?

CNA2012 Update – Chalk River Student Tour Video Contest

New for 2012, the CNA, in partnership with AECL, will be hosting a tour of the AECL Chalk River Laboratories for up to 40 students!

Attention Students: Enter to win a trip to AECL’s Chalk River Labs!

(Note: This post has been edited to reflect updated information. Nov 18,2011)

Students attending the 2012 Conference are invited to submit a short video (less than 1 minute) describing why they should be chosen to participate in the Chalk River Tour, held on Tuesday, February 21, 2012.

Winning videos will be featured on our TalkNUclear.tv YouTube channel, and shown during refreshment breaks throughout the Conference.

For all you students out there, get thinking! We’re looking forward to your creative reasons for why you should be a part of this great opportunity.

The CNA, in partnership with AECL, will be hosting up to 40 students for a tour of the AECL Chalk River Laboratories on Tuesday, February 21, 2012, with an extra night accommodations in Ottawa provided. The Chalk River Laboratories is a site of major research and development to support and advance nuclear technology, in particular CANDU reactor technology. CRL has expertise in physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology, and engineering and unique research facilities. For example, Bertram Brockhouse received the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering work in neutron spectrometry while at CRL from 1950-1962. Sir John Cockcroft was an early director of CRL and also a Nobel laureate. CRL produces about one-third of the world’s supply of medical radioisotopes.

In order for you to apply for this great opportunity, the CNA requests that you submit a short video (less than 1 minute) describing why you should be selected to take part in this tour. Your video should be uploaded to a personal YouTube account, and its link forwarded to Laura Allardyce at allardycel@cna.ca. All video link submissions must be received by January 6, 2012 to be considered. Selected videos will be chosen, and winners notified by, January 11, 2012

Please note that students selected for this tour will have their submitted videos linked to from the CNA TalkNuclearYouTube channel, and will be on display during program breaks at the 2012 CNA Conference.

Videos will be judged based on the creativity of the submission and reasons given for wanting to tour CRL.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Laura Allardyce by email at allardycel@cna.ca or by phone at (613) 237-4262 ext. 110, for more information about the program.

Summary of Important Dates

  • December 7 Deadline to indicate interest in attending the CNA Conference (inquire with your university program admin)
  • December 9 CNA will confirm student participation
  • December 15 Deadline to submit Chalk River tour contest video link
  • January 6, 2012 CNA will notify student winners

Follow @TalkNUclear and the #CRLtour hashtag on Twitter.

Check out TalkNUclear’s visit to Chalk River for inspiration.
CRL Visit Part One.CRL Visit Part Two.

Thank you to AECL for becoming a Gold Sponsor of our Conference and supporting this fantastic event.

 For more information, see the links below, or contact Laura Allardyce at allardycel@cna.ca

 See you in February!

2012 Conference Agenda  -  REGISTER  – Sponsors

Sponsor Spotlight

Click to learn more about 2012 CNA Conference and
Trade Show sponsor, RCM Technologies


Nuclear Education Nuclear Pride

Happy Canada Day from the Proudly Canadian Nuclear Association!

Image Credit: Nuclear FAQ by Dr. Jeremy Whitlock

On a day of national pride, we here at TalkNuclear are blowing the horn for nuclear!

Take a look at the timeline below for a glimpse into Canada’s history with nuclear technology. It’s an impressive history of innovations that have led to:

  • safe, reliable energy production (15% of Canada’s electricity is nuclear generated,55% in Ontario);
  • a clean-burning power source that emits virtually no greenhouse gasses that cause smog or contribute to global warming;
  • life-saving contributions in health care such as medical isotopes for sterilization and disease diagnosis and treatment;
  • improved food safety thanks to food irradiation which helps prolong the shelf life of food by killing bacteria such as E-Coli;
  • general safety improvements in other industries such as the automobile, aircraft, mining, aluminum and construction which rely on radioactive materials in their daily operations.

A trip down memory lane. Check out this 1953 vintage CBC video looking inside the “colbalt bomb,” which is a nickname for the  cobalt beam therapy unit designed at AECL. It was called “one of the best ways that physicians and scientists have yet found to combat cancer.”

Shout-out to CANDU technology

Click the image for details.

Did you know the global fleet of CANDU and CANDU-derived reactors currently includes 50 reactors. CANDU stands for “CANada Deuterium Uranium.” It’s a Canadian-designed power reactor of PHWR type (Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor) that uses heavy water (deuterium oxide) for moderator and coolant, and natural uranium for fuel.

On behalf of Canada’s nuclear community, Happy Canada Day!