Neutron Scattering Beyond the NRU Reactor: 2018-2030

  • The Canadian Neutron Initiative – The CNI builds on CINS’s earlier work to establish a new university-led framework for neutron scattering after 2018.
  • Government of Canada Response (Oct 2017) to the Natural Resources Committee – The GoC agrees with the recommendation of the committee, and is “engaging with stakeholders in nuclear R&D, the broader user community of neutron beams in Canada, and potential partners to explore the full range of possible options and models for access to high flux neutrons” including access to foreign facilities, developing a domestic source of medium-flux neutrons at McMaster, and building a new domestic source of high-flux neutrons.
  • The Nuclear Sector at a Crossroads: Fostering Innovation and Energy Security for Canada and the World (June 2017) – The House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources recommended, “The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada continue its support for Canadian nuclear R&D and innovation in the short, medium and long term, by: a) considering long-term options to provide a reliable, high-flux neutron source for Canadian researchers.”
  • CINS membership survey – (June 2017) Results from the 2017 CINS membership survey
  • Discussion on a Virtual Institute for Neutron Scattering – A concept paper for consultation at the CINS Annual Meeting prepared for the University of Saskatchewan and the Sylvia Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (November 2015).
  • The Report by the Committee on Options for a Future Neutron Source – Committee recommendations for neutron scattering infrastructure projects following the planned closure of the NRU reactor in 2018 (June 2015).

Long-Term Vision for a Domestic Neutron Source for 2030 and Beyond

In “Planning to 2050”, Canadian scientists describe materials research and development with neutron beams and recommend how to maximize its future value to Canada. The plan lays out the priorities of the community of physicists, chemists, engineers, earth and resource scientists, and life scientists who use neutron beams in Canada. These priorities have resulted from consultative democratic processes that have taken place over more than a decade.

The centrepiece of the plan is the construction of the Canadian Neutron Centre (CNC), a world-class neutron source with associated laboratories and infrastructure. The CNC will surpass the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor — permanently shut down in 2018 — in the production of neutrons for materials research. In addition, the CNC could potentially continue the NRU reactor’s functions in nuclear energy research or the production of isotopes for industry and medicine.

Planning to 2050 for Materials Research with Neutron Beams in Canada (2015) (24 Mb download)
Archived versions of the original 2007 plan:
Summary (English)
Summary (French)
Full version

Major Research Facilities Issues

  • Neutrons for the Nation – (August 2018) The American Physical Society report examines global trends in supply of neutron beams, with a focus on the USA reactor sources of neutrons that rely on Highly-Enriched Uranium (HEU) fuel. It examines actions to reduce or eliminate reliance on HEU while maintaining sufficient access to high-flux neutrons. 
  • Fundamental Science Review – (April 2017) This panel, commissioned by the Minister of Science in 2016, recommends a governance framework that can oversee and advise the government with respect to all Major Research Facilities in Canada, similar to the National Science Advisor’s 2005 Proposal for Major Science Investments.
  • Proposed Framework for the Evaluation, Funding and Oversight of Canadian Major Science Investments – (September 2005) A discussion paper by the Office of the National Science Advisor.
  • Major Resources Support Program Moratorium Impact Report – (August 30, 2012) The impacts of the moratorium on the NSERC MRS program have been assessed in a recent survey of affected facilities. For the past decade, the MRS program has been vital in supporting user access to neutron beams at the NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre.
  • Access to Major International X-Ray and Neutron Scattering Facilities – (30 April 2009) This APS study explores how access to major international X-ray and neutron scattering facilities is evolving both in the US and internationally .

Restructuring of AECL

  • CINS Expression of Interest in AECL (March 30, 2012) – CINS has responded to Natural Resources Canada’s consultative process on the restructuring of AECL, known as a Request for Expressions of Interest. CINS would seek to contribute to an oversight role so as to restore Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) to its proper position as a centre for research in Canada, and to ensure that its unique combination of capabilities is managed for the benefit of all clients, whether they be academic, government or industrial users.
  • Chalk River National Laboratory – In response to the restructuring of AECL, a grass-roots effort (CREATE) has proposed a vision for Chalk River as a National Laboratory that would include a new multi-purpose reactor to surpass the capabilities of the aging NRU reactor (October 2009).

Medical Isotopes