Canadian Neutron Initiative (CNI)

The official source of information about the CNI has moved to CINS is an active member of the CNI working group, representing the researchers.

What is the Canadian Neutron Initiative (CNI)?

The CNI is a pan-Canadian effort in a response to the loss of an irreplaceable tool – neutron beams – essential to Canada’s clean economy, security and health goals, as of March 2018. The CNI proposes a pragmatic, cost-effective solution to this urgent public policy challenge, aiming to sustain access for Canadians to an irreplaceable critical scientific tool, today and tomorrow. It proposes to establish a new framework for stewardship of Canada’s capability for research with neutron beams.

Who uses neutron beams as research tools?

Over 800 scientists, engineers and students from over 30 universities participate in research using them to advance their programs of research and innovation. Industries such as automotive, aerospace, energy generation, defense, oil & gas, metal production use them to enhance productivity.

Why is a new framework needed?

The framework for stewardship of Canada’s capability for materials research with neutron beams must adapt to address four challenges: (1) the closure of the NRU reactor at Chalk River in March 2018; (2) the 2018 expiry of an arrangement for Canadian participation at the Spallation Neutron Source in Oak Ridge, USA; (3) the lack of mandate for federal agencies (e.g. National Research Council, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited) to continue managing a national program for access of researchers to neutron beam facilities; and (4) the need for a university institutional presence within this framework.

What Are Neutron Beams?

Just like beams of light are used in a microscope to learn about materials on a micrometre scale, beams of neutrons reveal nanometre-scale details about materials’ molecular structures and motions that cannot be seen with other scientific tools – details that are critical to how materials perform.

Discover neutrons for materials research.

CINS has lots of examples of actual and potential impacts in these areas arising from research using neutrons beams.

World-class research and innovation require large, national-scale science facilities that are accessible and maintained at the state-of-the-art. The Canadian Neutron Initiative proposes a single program for orderly stewardship of Canadian access to neutron-beam facilities for a decade.

Nobel Laureate in Physics (2015), Prof. Art McDonald, Queen’s University