2010 Year in Review

Year 2010 was for sure to remember. It was during the summer of 2010 that NRU repairs were successfully done & the reactor was restarted up after a 15 month-long shutdown. I started this  in the April of 2010. Here is a look back at some highlights of the year 2010:

April 14: If you are interested in the timeline of NRU operations, this article appears to be accurate and complete upto November of 2008: A problem years in the making (http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/306596)
April 14: How sicence policy, including decisions for major investments, is made in Canada? Currently there doesn't seem to be any procedure for proposing a major science investment in Canada. Isn't it time that we have a science advisor (it could be formed of a group of experts) that can advise the government what
proposals should be funded?
April 14: NRU Status report #51: It is estimated that NRU will resume isotope production by the end of July.
April 17: Even if the current repairs to NRU are successful, it is likely that it will be closed by 2016 (see the link below). What is the plan for after that? A committment to build a new source is long overdue and should
occur now to prevent the brain-drain and loss of expertise for Canada.(http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/06/10/isotope-harper.html)
Sale of AECL by stealth sells out Canadian taxpayer interests
April 25: A must read: "No, it's not the sale of AECL's CANDU division that's threatening AECL, it's the lack of a strategy and long term plan for AECL's Research and Technology division. As a result, soon AECL will have no functioning nuclear research reactor to call its own."
April 26: Despite the recommendation of the Isotope Expert Panel, "Ottawa rules out new medical isotope reactor: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Health/20100401/isotopes_ottawa_100401/
April 30: "Ontario and the federal government must come up with a joint strategy to build a next-generation nuclear reactor in Ontario, or risk permanently shrinking the sector, says the head a nuclear industry suppliers’
May 8: CREATE presented their proposal for the future of Chalk River Labs to the Town Council of Deep River on April 21, 2010: http://www.futurecrl.ca/CREATE.php?page=news&id=13&showcomments=0
May 8: It now looks like that the government is likely to sell the
entire CANDU division. Do you agree with this move?
May 15: There will be a special session, titled "The Future of Neutron Scattering in Canada", during the American Conference on Neutron Scattering 2010 in June in Ottawa. This session will include discussion on the need for a new research reactor and also will provide a forum for stakeholders to discuss a course of action. http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/sec.asp?CID=26814&DID=324175
May 17: Do you think there should be a public debate on how the commercial part of AECL should be sold? This unfortunately seems unlikely as there is now a Bill, C-9, to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 4, 2010 plus some other measures. http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=4402776&Language=e&Mode=1&File=9
May 19: NRU Status Report #56 just released: "It is estimated that NRU will resume isotope production by the end of July." http://www.aecl.ca/NewsRoom/Community_Bulletins/100519.htm
May 25: Without a doubt NRU has contributed significantly to the advancement of science and technology in Canada and to building its knowledge-based economy over the past 50 years. It takes about ~$1-2B to
build a replacement today, that divided by 30 million people and 50 years comes to only about $1 per person.
May 29: what else $1B G20 security tab can buy for Canada? certainly a new research reactor to replace NRU benefiting Canada for the next 50 years! http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/816123--what-can-1-billionbuy?bn=1
June 1: More opposition to Bill C-9 that allows the government to selloff AECL, in part or all, without a parliamentary debate:Senators join campaign to break up Conservative budget bill:
June 1: "the $35 million will be put towards finding "alternative" sources for radioisotopes that would be used for medical purposes for the mid to long-term." Read more: http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/06/01/14219181.html
June 3: AECL sale could be 'death knell' for CANDU reactors: an old but interesting read on the selloff of AECL: http://www.dose.ca/news/technology/AECL+sale+could+death+knell+CANDU+reactors/2103432/story.html?id=2103432
June 4: Ottawa solicits ideas for producing medical isotopes without a reactor:
June 9: With the Bill C-9 passed on Tuesday (with objections from NDP and BQ but with the support of the Liberals), it is now up to the Senate to pass it or order the some items such as selloff oof AECL out of it:
June 9: This is how the Bill C-9 was passed:
June 10: For those of you who were not at CAP this week, this afternoon the president of Canadian Institute for Neutron Scattering, Prof. Ryan, gave a very stimulating talk about the problem the community is facing with NRU shutdown and the fact that even if it fixed it is old and cannot be run for ever.
June 23: Just released: NRU Status Report #61 AECL still maintains that "NRU will resume isotope production by the end of July." http://www.aecl.ca/NewsRoom/Community_Bulletins/100623.htm
June 30: Looks like the French company Areva will be the one building a new reactor in NB: "Areva, N.B. discuss 2nd nuclear reactor": http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/06/30/nb-areva-nuclear-reactor-532.html
June 30: If you have access to the HillTimes, you will find this a great read:
Can't agree more: "Cleverly disguised as support for innovation in the cyclotron option, the federal government strategy lacks a coherent long-term vision required to move us away from week-to-week crisis management."
July 2: Here is the press release by CINS related to the special session "Future of Neutron Scattering in Canada" held during ACNS 2010 in Ottawa this past Monday:
July 6: CAP is asking its members to help prioritize the items they will be asking the government to invest in for their upcoming submission to the House of Commons Finance Committee. The full list of items will be
July 7: CNSC approved the restart of the nru reactor: "the Commission approves the return to service of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited 's National Research Universal reactor, located in Chalk River,
July 8: The latest NRU Status Report #64: "It is estimated that NRU will resume isotope production by the end of July."
July 14: Bill C-9 that allows the government to sell part or all of AECL without a public debate is now passed the Senate. With the passage of the Bill, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited is up for the sale!
July 14: "Little information has been offered the public as to what the budget bill actually means. Bill C-9 was voted in 48-42, with Liberals allowing the it to pass in order to avoid an election."
July 15: Society of Nuclear Medicine "cautions that the restart of this reactor will not solve the ongoing production and supply issues causing the crisis." Read more: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/194291.php
July 20: I am not trying to purposely link all the critical articles related to how the government is hadling the selloff of AECL. If anyone knows a pro-article, please post the link!
July 28: It is good to see there are still people who believe in CANDU and don't want to see it "thrown out with the AECL privatization bathwater" http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/07/27/candu-can-still-do-it/
August 2: The replacement of NRU reactor is not a "political" issue, at least it should not be, it should be based on ensuring that Canada remains at the cutting edge... so the political leaders need to come together and make it happen for the good of the country!
August 4: NRU Status Report #68 just released: "is estimated that NRU will resume isotope production by mid- August." http://www.aecl.ca/NewsRoom/Community_Bulletins/100804.htm
August 5: maybe they should just stop giving a date for NRU restart... it restarts when it is ready!
August 10: Looks like the opposition belives the Chalk River jobs will be lost if AECL is sold off:
August 17: NRU Status Report #70 released today: neutrons have returned in Canada! :)
August 17: Great Achievments by all who were involved to fix the leak and bring the reactor back online:
August 18: Neutron Scattering experiments have resumed at NRU, the user program is once again alive and well in Canada! send in your proposals and come in for your experiments!
August 22: NRU Reactor Harvests First Isotopes: NRU Status Report #71
August 30: Canada’s Chalk River Reactor Coming Back Online Will Not Solve Long-Term Isotope Shortage in Hospitals http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708111326.htm
September 3: Risk statistics on energy: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=28325
September 7: Even if the medical isotopes could be produced with TRIUMF facility, there is still need for a new neutron source in Canada to replace NRU to ensure that neutron scattering can continue in Canada:
September 8: AECL appoints new Senior Vice-President responsible for nuclear Labs: http://www.aecl.ca/NewsRoom/News/Press-2010/100820-3.htm
September 8: AECL reports $80 million loss http://www.magma.ca/~drcanrt/100908aeclloss.html
September 12: As Theodore Roosevelt once said: "In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing", the inaction and delays in making a decision about the future of AECL, Chalk River Labs, and a new reactor to replace the aging NRU, is really hurtful to both the research and business side of the field!
September 20: Duhaime's SNC on new path with AECL bid
September 22: An interesting perspective on "What’s the future of AECL under SNC-Lavalin control?":
September 22: The agenda for the 2010 CINS AGM: The Future of Neutron Scattering in Canada has been posted: http://www.cins.ca/meetings/agm2010.html
September 25: ZED-2 is 50 years old and still relevant!:
September 25: While most countries are investing in making their own domestic supply of isotopes, Canada is looking into buying it from other countries! http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/09/23/nuclear-isotopes-canada.html
September 28: A sound point of view: "Nuclear goes well beyond electricity generation. It is also the basis for vital cancer-fighting medical technologies, diagnosis and treatment, medical sterilization and food irradiation, desalination of water and other emerging technologies." Read more:
September 30: Why Canada lags in innovation? This is a must read:
September 30: More on science policy in Canada, if you haven't seen this article, this is also a must read: Whither the NRC? http://dontleavecanadabehind.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/whither-the-nrc/
October 4: A must-see interview with the president of Canadian Institute for Neutron Scattering, Prof. Dominic Ryan, about the need for a new research reactor in Canada required for nuclear energy, neutron
scattering, and isotopes:
October 8: The push for a new research reactor should not reply on medical isotope production as sooner or later, either alternative methods of producing isotopes might be found or other types of medical techologies might be developed that don't need such isotope, is it not sufficinet to ask for a new neutron source based on pure... scientific and technological research and development???:
October 13: I wonder whether selling off AECL will solve the problems the company is currently facing:
October 13: A related article in WNN confirming that all of new calandria tubes are to be removed and reinstalled: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-AECL_starts_again_on_retubing_Point_Lepreau-1110107.html
October 13: The world is moving forward with their plans to produce their required isotopes without Canada which once was the dominant producer!
October 18: Thank you Saskatchewan! the CINS AGM meeting was a success! neutron scattering community gathered in Saskatoon this past weekend for the AGM meeting. The welcome was overwhelming, in the oppening session, there were municipal and provincial dignitaries as well as University of Saskatchewan VPs who wlecomed the community. It was so inspirational to listen to their passionate presentations about the Saskatchewan's proposal to build a research reactor for neutron scattering in Saskatoon and how investments in science like this will better the society. The CINS strongly supported the proposal by Saskatchewan to build the reactor. There will be some press releases which I will post as soon as become available. The meeting already generated media attention, I will post links to few such articles above...
October 18: With such a facility on the university campus beside the Canadian Light source, UofS will be the scientific centre of Canada: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/health/pursues+research+reactor/3675379/story.html
October 18: Thank you again University of Saskatchewan, city of Saskatoon, and province of Saskatchewan for your warm welcome to the Canadian neutron scattering community this past weekend. Canada: our
time to lead! and make a replacement for the aging NRU reactor a reality!
October 20: Scientists Support Proposed Neutron Beam Reactor at University of Saskatchewan:
October 20: One should remember that the support for the Saskatchewan proposal doesn't mean excluding any other proposal out there (i.e. at Chalk River) if they exist... I think an ideal situation would be to end
up with two reactors: one at Saskatchewan for neutron scattering and the other at Chalk River for nuclear R&D and isotopes. Wouldn't that be awesome???
October 21: SNC-Lavalin buys Quebec nuclear consultancy:
October 22: George C. Laurence (1905 – 1987) inducted into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa:
October 27: Did you know AECL ranked 8th in R&D spending this past year in Canada? the list released by researchinfosource: http://www.researchinfosource.com/2010Top100List.pdf
October 27: This is a must read published today at the local newspaper about the support of CINS community for the SK proposal and the lack of action in Ontario! I hope someone in Ontario start to pay attention before it is too late and the opportunity is lost! http://www.magma.ca/~drcanrt/101027cns.html
November 3: "Partners" group ready to bid on CRL: http://www.magma.ca/~drcanrt/101103partners.html
November 5: This article was published on Wednesday and can give you a summary of the medical isotope situation and what is being done about it around the world:
November 8: Canadian Journal of Physics has dedicated one entire issue on Neutron Scattering in Canada and celebrating NRU. We have a tutorial article there on triple axis spectroscopy (Neutron scattering study of the classical antiferromagnet MnF2: a perfect hands-on neutron scattering teaching course: Pages 771-797)
November 9: Someone asked me to post some background info about which government agency currently operates the Canadian Neutron Beam Centre at Chalk River. The answer is National Research Council Canada . Check out this link from the Treasury Board of Canada in which National Research Council's Program Activities are outlined: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/rpp/2010-2011/inst/nrc/nrc02-eng.asp
November 10: Only 2 bids submitted for Canada's AECL:
November 10: Ottawa’s plan to sell AECL threatens future of Canada’s nuclear industry:
November 10: AECL not popular on market:
November 15: It looks like there is yet a 3rd player in the AECL sale
November 17: Another article published today this one in Ottawa Citizen: The sad reality of AECL
November 17: Amidst all the issues AECL and its selloff are facing, let's not forget that more than 50% of Ontario power comes from nuclear. What is the future plan? http://www.opg.com/power/nuclear/
November 18: Some questions have been raised related to the latest bid to buy AECL by Toronto businessman: Union questions feasibility of splitting AECL:
November 18: A must read published today: Wanted: energy policies that really make sense:
November 19: Chalk up over $100 million in costs for ditching nuclear reactors More news on AECL and future of Chalk River Labs:
November 19: At least I am glad Ontario is saying something now!:
November 22: On Nov. 18, 2010, Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette tabled Bill S-225 to Save Atomic Energy of Canada Limited: http://www.eurekablog.ca/?m=201011
November 22: A commentary published on Sunday in Toronto Star by Peter White, the President of the Society of Professional Engineers and Associates: AECL up for auction but West’s industries protected:
November 22: Ontario "Liberals argue green power is costly but worth it":
November 25: This is a welcoming development! but I hope it will not yet be another committe setup that comes with a recommendation after a while that will not be followed at the end!!! (remember the Expert Panel on Isotope issue)! http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/11/25/isotopes-committee-report.html
November 26: A commentary published today by Adriaan Buijs, the Professor and Undergraduate Associate Chair, Department of Engineering Physics, McMaster University: From CANDU to CHINDU
November 30: Wow, this is incredible! for the first time I find an official document that talsk about a "the proposal by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited to continue to operate the National Research Universal Reactor until 2021"!!! this is in an announcement by CNSC today in their Request for
December 1: Last year "As part of Natural Resources Canada’s ongoing requirement to understand public perceptions and attitudes towards nuclear energy, Ipsos Reid was commissioned to conduct a two-phased public opinion research project including a series of focus groups and a telephone survey." This is the link to the document that was submitted to Natural Resources Canada. It is amazing to see the conclusion of the report: http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/003/008/099/003008-disclaimer.html?orig=%2F100%2F200%2F301%2Fpwgsctpsgc%2Fpor-ef%2Fnatural_resources%2F2009%2F088-08%2Freport.pdf
December 7: A must read: "Years of government indifference have left Canada's nuclear science program a shell of its former self" by Robert Bothwell, Director, International Relations Program at the Munk School of
December 15: Well, it is official, there is yet a third bid for buying AECL:
December 23: This one month shutdown in spring is just a planned shutdown for maintenance!

I have tested the links in the summary above and they still work. If you cannot get to
the page by clicking on the link, just copy the full link to your browser...

Year 2011 for sure will be also interesting with the sale of CANDU and decisions to be made for the future of Chalk River Labs. Let us hope it will be a year that keeps Canada proud for years to come!

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