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SRC Successfully Transitions Its Slowpoke Research Reactor Into A Safe State

Released on September 26, 2019

The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) has transitioned its Safe Low Power Kritical Experiment (SLOWPOKE) research reactor into a non-operational safe state by successfully defueling the reactor and transporting the fuel to the United States without incident.

The process to initiate decommissioning with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) was started in December 2017 and is being conducted under the stringent requirements of the CNSC.  A proposed license amendment will authorize SRC to fully decommission the facility over the next two years.

“This is one more example of how SRC continues to lead the way for research and technology organizations in Canada,” Minister Responsible for SRC Jeremy Harrison said.  “By constantly evaluating and evolving to best meet industry’s needs, SRC ensures it is well-positioned for the future.”

The SLOWPOKE is a low-power, self-regulating nuclear research reactor that is used as an analytical tool to conduct analysis for industry.  SRC has operated its SLOWPOKE research reactor without safety incident since its commissioning in March 1981.  Throughout that time, the reactor has surpassed 20,000 hours of operation and conducted more than 240,000 analytical tests.

“After 37 years of service, the most business practical and cost-effective solution is to decommission the reactor,” SRC President and CEO Mike Crabtree said.  “SRC will continue to support industry by utilizing alternative technologies.”

SRC is one of Canada’s leading providers of applied research, development and demonstration (RD&D), and technology commercialization.  With more than 325 employees, $75 million in annual revenue and almost 75 years of RD&D experience, SRC provides services and products to its 1,500 clients in 20 countries around the world.


For more information, contact:

Erin Taman Athmer
Saskatchewan Research Council
Phone: 306-385-4194 
Cell: 306-381-3407

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