AtkinsRéalis and AECL Enter into Memorandum of Understanding to Collaborate and Expand Intellectual Property Agreement, Accelerating Development of CANDU MONARK Reactor

February 29, 2024

AtkinsRéalis and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (“AECL”), a federal Crown corporation, are pleased to announce they have entered into a MOU to collaborate for the purpose of successfully deploying CANDU reactors in Canada and internationally and to expand their intellectual property licensing agreement (IPLA) given the importance of CANDU technology’s role in helping Canada reach its net zero objectives.

The collaboration and licensing agreements to follow this MOU will accelerate the development of CANDU reactor technology, including the previously announced CANDU MONARK reactor, at a critical time during the energy transition. When the IPLA was initially signed in 2011, transitioning to a low-carbon world was not a consideration; as expanded, the agreement will reflect the changing priorities and the organizations’ belief in the role that CANDU technology will play in decarbonizing Canada and the world.

“I would like to extend my appreciation to AECL for their ongoing collaboration. The MOU underscores our mutual interest in advancing the CANDU technology suite of reactors,” commented Ian L. Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, AtkinsRéalis. “We’re committed to continuing the work we’ve undertaken for over a decade— successfully refurbishing, servicing, and developing CANDU technology in Canada and abroad to meet the growing low-carbon energy needs here and abroad—while enabling Canada to maintain its status as a Tier-1 nuclear nation.”

“Made-in-Canada CANDU technology is a national and strategic asset that has provided reliable, non-emitting power and high-quality jobs to communities across Canada for decades,” said the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. “As the world moves to build a more prosperous and sustainable economy, we must use every tool in the toolbox to achieve our clean growth goals, reduce emissions and mitigate climate change. Canada’s expertise will ensure that we remain a safe and reliable partner for the peaceful use of nuclear energy throughout the global energy transition while also supporting significant economic opportunities for workers.”

“I am pleased that AECL and AtkinsRéalis are collaborating and working together to advance CANDU reactor technology; particularly one that recognizes the tremendous opportunity and need for CANDU to uniquely contribute to important national objectives such as decarbonization, energy security, economic growth and maintaining Canada’s Tier-1 nuclear nation status,” said Fred Dermarkar, President & Chief Executive Officer of AECL. “We believe this path can position CANDU reactor technology, developed in Canada by Canadians, to remain a viable reactor product offering at home and abroad.”  

As the vast majority of CANDU components, fuel and services are sourced domestically and more than 85 per cent of a CANDU reactor’s equipment and parts can be supplied by Canadian manufacturers, this offers compounded economic benefits to stakeholders across the country. In fact, as the Original Equipment Manufacturer and proud steward of CANDU technology, AtkinsRéalis partners with a nationwide nuclear supply chain of more than 250 companies that employ 76,000 people and provides CANDU fuel, components, services and tooling.

“We will collaborate with AECL, the Canadian nuclear supply chain partners and our customers to complete the CANDU MONARK design for domestic and international deployment,” said Joe St. Julian, President, Nuclear, AtkinsRéalis. “CANDU technology is the only home-grown Canadian power reactor technology; it competes successfully on a global stage, providing energy security, creating export opportunities and thousands of well-paying, highly skilled jobs, while also supporting the local supply chain and creating economic value to Canada. The deployment of the CANDU MONARK will provide safe, carbon free, base load power to the country and the world.”


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