FYI: The CNSC commissioned this "Report of the Research Review Group to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission", released in March 2004, on the state of nuclear R&D in Canada. The report is available for download at www.cns-snc.ca/CNSC_March2004.pdf (about 6 MB). The Research Review Group consists of four distinguished Canadians covering the spectrum: Michael Chamberlain (nuclear medicine), F. Victor Clulow (environment), John Sommerville (operations), and Alec Stewart (neutron scattering)
I reproduce the report's Summary below.
"Report of the Research Review Group to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission", CNSC, March 2004
The Research Review Group has discussed with many organizations the state of nuclear related research in Canada. We have heard many ideas and we have developed our own views. Our principal recommendations are:
First, the Group regrets the lack of clear government policy on nuclear energy in Canada's future. If nuclear power is to play a significant role, then the research laboratories of AECL are badly underfunded. Many facilities have been closed and knowledge lost. Closures will continue because the professional workforce has many nearing retirement. Steps to ensure replacement should be taken immediately.
Second, a national laboratory for radiation sciences is needed -- regardless of nuclear power development. The large Canadian export of uranium and radionuclides for medical and industrial uses is a valuable industry, some parts of which need access to a national laboratory. Such a national laboratory would, among other things, conduct research on environmental issues, spent fuel storage facilities, and medical and industrial uses of radionuclides. Reduced funding at AECL has diminished its de facto role as the national laboratory for radiation sciences.