Shut-down and decommissioned reactors

Shut-down reactors

Canada has a variety of research and prototype power reactors that are no longer in use and have been shut down. These reactors are in a safe storage state and awaiting final decommissioning.

  • The WR-1 organically cooled research reactor located at Whiteshell Laboratories near Pinawa, MB, operated from 1965 until 1985. It was developed to explore the properties of a higher-temperature version of the CANDU design, and was used for nuclear fuel research and other research programs. The reactor is currently in safe storage, awaiting final decommissioning. Read more about Whiteshell Laboratories’ licensed activities.
  • The NRX reactor at Chalk River Laboratories (CRL), Canada's first large-scale research reactor, began operation in 1947 and played a major role in developing the CANDU reactor. The reactor was used for the testing of fuels and materials, as well as for nuclear physics research in support of the Canadian nuclear power program. After approximately 250,000 hours of operating time, the NRX reactor was shut down on January 29, 1992. The reactor is currently in safe storage, awaiting final decommissioning.
  • The National Research Universal reactor (NRU) at Chalk River Laboratories, first went into service on November 3, 1957. For over 60 years, it produced medical isotopes and served a number of research and scientific roles. The NRU was permanently shut down on March 31, 2018. During the current 10-year licence period, it will transition from operation to a permanent safe shutdown state and then prepare for decommissioning.
  • The MAPLE-1 and MAPLE-2 (Multipurpose Applied Physics Lattice Experiment) reactors at CRL were partially activated in 2000 for the purposes of medical isotope production. However, the reactors were never fully commissioned, and their development was halted in 2008. Both reactors are in safe storage, awaiting final decommissioning.
  • The Gentilly-1 nuclear generating station in Bécancour, QC, operated intermittently from 1972 to 1978. A decommissioning program was initiated in 1984 to bring the facility to a safe, sustainable shutdown state. The site is now partially decommissioned and is licensed as a waste facility.
  • The Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor in Rolphton, ON, was Canada’s first nuclear generating station and operated from 1962 until 1987. The site is now partially decommissioned and is licensed as a waste facility. Read more about NPD’s licensed activities.
  • The Douglas Point nuclear generating station in Kincardine, ON, was Canada’s first commercial-scale nuclear generating station and a prototype for today’s larger nuclear power plants. It operated from 1968 to 1986. The site is now partially decommissioned and is licensed as a waste facility. Read more about Douglas Point’s licensed activities.

Decommissioned reactors

Fully decommissioned reactors in Canada include the ZEEP and PTR reactors at CRL (Chalk, River, ON), SLOWPOKE reactors at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS), University of Toronto (Toronto, ON), University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB), Tunney's Pasture (Ottawa, ON) and MDS Nordion (Kanata,ON).

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