Major investments in nuclear research through Canadian Innovation Foundation and NSERC

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Photo: Canadian Innovation Foundation

Since January, approximately $25 million has been committed to nuclear projects at universities across Canada.

MARCH 12, 2021 – On March 3, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced funding for 102 projects at 35 post-secondary institutions and research hospitals across the country for a total of more than $518 million through the Canadian Innovation Foundation (CIF).

The two universities that received the most funding were McGill University ($41.9 million) and McMaster University ($35.1 million).  

McMaster’s Building a Future for Canadian Neutron Scattering project, led by physicist Bruce Gaulin was awarded more than $14.2 million, the most funding received for any single project. The funding will be used to construct three new neutron beamlines at the university’s nuclear reactor. 

This is a national project that will enable research and innovation in areas such as materials for clean energy technology, materials for structural integrity of reliability-critical components of vehicles or nuclear power plants, biomaterials for understanding and combating disease and materials for information technology. 

Carleton University’s Mark Boulay, professor in the Department of Physics, and his partners at the University of Alberta, Laurentian University, Queen’s University, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, SNOLAB and TRIUMF received approximately $6.9 million in CIF funding. Their work is enhancing Canada’s leadership in dark matter searches by enabling next-generation liquid argon experiments at SNOLAB.   Liquid argon’s unique properties allow strong background suppression, enabling very large and sensitive detectors.

Liquid argon’s unique properties allow strong background suppression, enabling very large and sensitive detectors.

Click here to see the full list of projects that received CIF funding. 

Click here to learn more about McMaster University’s CIF-funded projects. 

Click here to learn more about Boulay’s CIF-funded research at Carleton University. 

Related news…

NSERC funds approximately $4 million in nuclear research

In January, the Government of Canada announced its investment of $118 million in funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) inaugural Alliance grants program.

Approximately, $4 million was granted to 10 projects at Canadian universities focused on improved nuclear plant performance, waste management and nuclear medicine.

UNENE institutions receiving funding included: McMaster University, Queen’s University, University of Toronto and University of Waterloo. 

Industry partners collaborating on funded projects include: Bruce Power, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, CANDU Owners Group, Nuclear Waste Management Organization and Ontario Power Generation.

UNENE research chairs and the organization itself are involved with several of the projects that received funding. Alliance grants encourage university researchers to collaborate with partner organizations, which can be from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. These grants support research projects led by collaborative teams to accelerate the application of research results. 

NSERC Alliance nuclear researchers who received funding

Name: Karim Laurent Béland
Project title: Development of artificial neural networks to analyze micrographs of zirconium-based alloys and hydrides for nuclear power applications
Institution: Queen’s University
Partner(s): Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Funding amount: $90,000 

Name: Hyun Soo Byun 
Project title: Development and Validation of Physical and Biological Methods for Low Dose Radiation Protection 
Institution: McMaster University 
Partner(s): CANDU Owners Group 
Funding amount: $640,000 

Name: Mark Daymond
Project title: Mechanistic understanding of hydrided region overload cracking
Institution: Queen’s University
Partner(s): Kinectrics
Funding amount: $292,000 

Name: Tarik Kaya
Project title: Investigation of liquid metal heat pipes for cooling small modular nuclear reactors
Institution: Carleton University
Partner(s): Canadian Nuclear Laboratories 
Funding amount: $20,000 

Name: Derek Martin 
Project title: The pore pressure behaviour of argillaceous formations subjected to induced shear
Institution: University of Alberta
Partner(s): NAGRA, Nuclear Waste Management Organization, Rocscience Inc.
Funding amount: $300,000 

Name: Sriram Narasimhan
Project title: Digitization and asset information modelling to support nuclear power plant decommissioning
Institution: University of Waterloo  
Partner(s): UNENE
Funding amount: $212,295 

Name: Jovan Nedic
Project title: Mitigation of hydrodynamic instabilities in magnetized target fusion reactors
Institution: McGill University 
Partner(s): General Fusion Inc.
Funding amount: $240,000 

Name: Suraj Persaud
Project title: Corrosion Control and Materials Performance in Nuclear Power Systems
Institution: Queen’s University
Partner(s): Bruce Power, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Ontario Power Generation and UNENE
Funding amount: $1,436,000 

Name: Suraj Persaud
Project title: Advanced characterization and modelling of degradation in nuclear waste canister materials
Institution: Queen’s University
Partner(s): Nuclear Waste Management Organization
Funding amount: $1,032,999 

Name: Andre Simpson
Project title: Tackling Sensitivity and Spectral Crowding: Establishing Portable Low-Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) as an Essential Scientific Tool
Institution: University of Toronto 
Partner(s): Synex Medical
Funding amount: $147,500

Click here to view the full list of this year’s NSERC Alliance grants.