ARCHIVED - George C. Laurence (1961 - 1970)
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Laurence is appointed AECB president
Dr. G.C. Laurence becomes President of the Atomic Energy Control Board. Serving until 1970, he is instrumental in developing a safety philosophy for the design of nuclear reactors in Canada. He had previously been with the National Research Council and served as Director of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.’s Reactor Research and Development Division. (Source: AECB)
The cobalt-60 irradiator is introduced
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.’s Commercial Products Division introduces the mobile cobalt-60 irradiator. (Source: Isotopes and Innovation , Paul Litt)
The AECB adopts the universal radiation warning symbol
The AECB adopts the magenta-on-yellow trefoil as its universal radiation warning symbol. In 1957 the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) had set up a committee, which included a representative of the AECB, to survey the various symbols or markers being used in Canada and other countries to denote the presence of radiation or radioactive materials and to recommend one particular symbol for general use in Canada. (Source: AECB)
Gaudefroy is appointed to the AECB
Dr. H. Gaudefroy is appointed as a member of the AECB and serves until March 31, 1970.
Beaverlodge Mine stops production
Saskatchewan’s Beaverlodge Mine ceases operation.
Nuclear protests take place in Canada
Canadian nuclear disarmament protests take place in Ottawa to put pressure on the government to further support international efforts favouring disarmament.
The Northwest Territories becomes the site of the first atomic-powered weather station
The world’s first atomic-powered weather station is installed on Axel Heiberg Island, Northwest Territories, 1,100 km from the North Pole. (Source: Canadian Nuclear Society)
The Tocsin B nuclear attack simulation is organized by the Canadian government
A nuclear attack simulation, named Tocsin B, is broadcast across the country. Civilians listen to instructions at home while federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government officials and cabinet ministers coordinate communications and emergency systems. (Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)
AECL develops the MAPLE radioisotope generator
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.'s Commercial Products Division develops a radioisotope thermoelectric generator called the MAPLE (Minor Atomic Prolonged-life Energy Source). (Source: Isotopes and Innovation , Paul Litt)
The Cuban Missile Crisis brings the world to the brink of nuclear war
The nuclear crisis reaches its peak when it's reported that missiles are poised to hit targets in North America from a launching pad in Cuba. Canadian politicians speak out about the imminent crisis and the desire for peace.
The CANDU prototype starts operations
Nuclear Power Demonstration – the first Canadian nuclear power reactor and the prototype for the CANDU design – begins operating in Rolphton, Ontario.
The first Incredible Hulk comic is published
The first issue of The Incredible Hulk , created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics, is published. It tells the story of a nuclear physicist named Robert Bruce Banner who, upon being exposed to gamma rays from a bomb detonated in the New Mexico desert, is transformed, temporarily and unpredictably, into the Hulk.
Charles Mills Drury
The Honourable Charles Mills Drury, Minister responsible for nuclear matters, 1962–1965
The first nuclear-generated electricity in Canada is produced
The Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor delivers the first nuclear-generated electricity in Canada to the grid. It eventually becomes the proving ground for research and development leading to commercial application of the CANDU reactor. (Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)
Ballard is appointed ex officio to the AECB
Dr. B.G. Ballard is appointed as an ex officio member of the AECB and serves until September 1967.
The first uranium-stockpiling program begins
Over the next few years, as military demand declines, the number of mines operating in Canada decreases and uranium exploration wanes, Canada implements a policy of selling uranium for peaceful purposes only. Due to the decrease in demand, the Canadia
Deuterium of Canada builds a heavy water plant in Glace Bay
Deuterium of Canada Ltd. builds the Glace Bay Heavy Water Plant near Sydney, Nova Scotia. The plant experiences several problems that eventually cause the AECB to revoke its licence. (Source: Canada Enters the Nuclear Age, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.)
Deuterium of Canada is granted a contract for heavy water production
A government contract is awarded to Deuterium of Canada Ltd. for heavy water production. (Source: A History of the Atomic Energy Control Board , Gordon H.E. Sims)
The Government establishes the Whiteshell R&D centre in Manitoba
The Government of Canada establishes the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment (now Whiteshell Laboratories), a nuclear research and development centre near Pinawa, Manitoba, about 100 km northeast of Winnipeg on the east bank of the Winnipeg River.
AECL builds the first Canadian industrial irradiation plant
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.'s Commercial Products Division builds Canada's first industrial irradiation plant in St. Hilaire, QC.
Boy Scouts of America approves an Atomic Energy Merit Badge
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) introduces an Atomic Energy Merit Badge. It is the 104th in their series of merit badges. In 2005, the badge is renamed the Nuclear Science Energy Badge.
The first Spiderman comic appears
“Radioactive blood” runs through the veins of Peter Parker after he is bitten by a radioactive spider. As a result, he becomes Spiderman.
The IAEA adopts the Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage
The Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage is adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. The Convention provides for the operator of a nuclear installation to be solely and absolutely liable for nuclear damages ste
The AECB posts an inspector at the Douglas Point reactor construction site
The AECB posts an on-site inspector at the Douglas Point power reactor being constructed on the shores of Lake Huron. The inspector oversees the design, construction, commission and subsequent operation of the reactor. This first on-site inspector is Jon Jennekens who goes on to become AECB President from 1978 to 1987. The appointment of on-site inspectors at power reactors continues today as a standard safety practice. (Source: A History of the Atomic Energy Control Board, Gordon H.E. Sims)
A Canadian reactor is the first to refuel while at full power
The Nuclear Power Demonstration reactor is successfully refueled at full power, marking the first time in history that a pressurized water power reactor is refueled online.
Canada–India agreements are reached for reactor construction
Canada and India reach two agreements for a 200-MW CANDU reactor in Rajasthan state. The deal is announced in Parliament in November 1963 but had been signed on December 16, 1961. (Source: Canadian Nuclear Society)
Chalk River Labs converts a research reactor to operate with enriched uranium
The National Research Universal reactor at Chalk River Laboratories, originally designed to use natural uranium, is converted to operate with enriched uranium.
AECL develops the first commercial sterilizers
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.’s Commercial Products Division (CDP) develops the first commercial sterilizers to process medical, pharmaceutical and food products. However, by 1970, a lack of strong market performance leads the CPD to recommend an end t
Saskatchewan’s Gunnar Mine closes
The Gunnar Mine, a uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan, ceases production. It had operated as both an open pit mine and an underground mine since its operations started in 1955.
Construction of the Glace Bay Heavy Water Plant is approved
A green light given for the Glace Bay Heavy Water Plant. The AECB issues construction approval for the plant, and the Government of Canada issues a contract to its owners – Deuterium of Canada Ltd. In 1967, the AECB will issue a start-up and operating
High levels of radium are found in the Elliot Lake region
The Ontario Water Resources Commission reports high levels of radium in waters in the Elliot Lake region of Ontario.
The government announces construction of a multi-unit plant at Pickering
With construction well underway at Douglas Point, the Ontario government announces plans to build a large, multi-unit nuclear plant in Pickering. As demand for electricity in the province continues to rise (between 1956 and 1963 it climbs from 4,909 MW
The Honourable Jean-Luc Pépin, Minister responsible for nuclear matters, 1965–1968
New facility for AECL Commercial Products Division
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.'s Commercial Products Division begins production at a new facility in Kanata, Ontario. (Source: Isotopes and Innovation, Paul Litt)
The Whiteshell reactor begins operations
The Whiteshell Reactor-1 (WR-1) begins operating at Whiteshell Laboratories, demonstrating the feasibility of an organic-cooled CANDU power reactor.
The AECB creates a Nuclear Reactors Examination Committee
Board creates a Nuclear Reactors Examination Committee.
The AECB grants a permit for the Pickering plant
In describing its decision, the AECB writes, “… the Board, on the advice of the Reactor Safety Advisory Committee, issued a permit in February 1966 to the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario for the construction of units 1 and 2 being two 500,00
Douglas Point begins operations
The Douglas Point Nuclear Generating Station, Canada’s first commercial-scale nuclear generating station and a prototype for today’s larger nuclear power plants, begins operating (achieving criticality at 4:26 p.m.). Later, the AECB writes, “During the year the Reactor Safety Advisory Committee continued to follow the commissioning of the Douglas Point Nuclear Generating Station near Kincardine, Ontario. On the Committee’s advice the Board in November 1966 issued an Interim Operating Licence to permit startup and operation of the station. The reactor first went critical on November 15, 1966. The station first produced power on January 7, 1967, and is now in the power run-up stage.”
The AECB approves the Glace Bay plant start-up
The AECB issues start-up and operation approval for the Glace Bay Heavy Water Plant.
AThe AECB opens research funding to examination
The AECB creates an Atomic Energy Control Board–National Research Council Visiting Committee to examine the use of research funds.
Jarvis leaves 21-year post as AECB legal advisor
Mr. G.M. Jarvis relinquishes his post of Secretary and Legal Advisor of the Board after 21 years of service.
Douglas Point feeds first power to electricity grid
Douglas Point feeds electricity to the grid for the first time, one of its achievements that put Canada on the world nuclear power scene
Schneider is appointed ex officio to the AECB
Dr. W.G. Schneider is appointed as an ex officio member of the AECB and serves until June 1, 1980.
Joint Canada–US TRUST program begins at Ontario's Rolphton station
Under a joint program with the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the United States Atomic Energy Commission and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. for development of Tamper-Resistant-Unattended Safeguards Techniques (TRUST), the AECB coordin
Chalk River Labs begins operation of the SLOWPOKE-2 reactor
The SLOWPOKE-2 (Safe Low Power Critical Experiment) reactor begins operating at Chalk River Laboratories. SLOWPOKEs were designed to study neutron activation, scattering and radiography as well as to produce isotopes and conduct irradiation testing o
John James Greene
The Honourable John James Greene, Minister responsible for nuclear matters, July 1968 – January 1972
Uranium is discovered at Saskatchewan's Rabbit Lake
Saskatchewan’s Rabbit Lake uranium deposit is discovered by Gulf Minerals Ltd. and the German-owned Uranerz Exploration and Mining Ltd. (Source: Canadian Nuclear Association)
Canada joins 58 nations in signing the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Canada joins 58 nations in signing the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty . As a member of the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Committee, Canada had contributed to the achievement of an agreed draft of the Treaty which was presented a
Douglas Point is declared in service
The Douglas Point Nuclear Power Station is declared in service. It is the first full-scale plant of its kind in Canada. Like other plants with novel design features, its commissioning and early operation has been interrupted to correct faults and unforeseen difficulties. These temporary mechanical troubles are attributed more to unfamiliarity with new design requirements than to basic difficulties in meeting the requirements, but have taken time to overcome.
The AECB strikes a heavy water advisory committee, the first of its kind, at the Bruce plant
The first Heavy Water Advisory Committee is established (for Bruce Plant).
The AECB adopts regulations for the transport of radioactive materials
The Atomic Energy Control Board adopts regulations for the transport of radioactive materials.
Construction of Unit A and heavy water plant starts at Bruce
Construction begins on Bruce A and the Bruce Heavy Water Plant (BHWP). A bulk steam system to deliver steam from Bruce A to BHWP for heavy water production is to be incorporated between the plants. (Source: Bruce Power)
The AECB issues its first report on radioactive waste management
First report by Board staff on Radioactive Waste Management.
AECB revokes Glace Bay plant licence
The Atomic Energy Control Board revokes the Glace Bay Heavy Water Plant’s operating licence.
AECL sells an experimental reactor to Taiwan
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. sells a commercial version of the National Research Experimental (NRX) reactor to Taiwan.
Ontario Hydro seeks to build a nuclear power station at Douglas Point
A request is received from Ontario Hydro for authorization to construct a four-unit 3,000-megawatt nuclear power station to be named Bruce Generating Station near the Douglas Point Generating Station on the shores of Lake Huron.
The first nuclear pacemaker is implanted in a patient
The first pacemaker powered by a nuclear battery is implanted in a patient, in Paris, France. Canadian research scientist John Hopps had played a leading role in developing the first pacemaker that was implanted inside a patient in 1958. (Source: Machines in Our Hearts, Kirk Jeffrey)
Chalk River Labs begins research on human cell genetics
Chalk River Laboratories begins conducting groundbreaking research on human cell genetics, significantly advancing medical research programs around the world. (Source: Canadian Nuclear Association)