Remembering Michael Stephens

Dr. Michael Stephens headshot
Image: Society for the Preservation of Canada’s Nuclear Heritage

The long-time Atomic Energy of Canada Limited scientist passed away on June 23. He is remembered for his contributions to waste management, nuclear decommissioning, his calm demeanour and attention to detail.

JUNE 25, 2021 – Michael Stephens, former Chair of the Canadian Nuclear Society’s Chalk River Branch and founding President of the Society for the Preservation of Canada’s Nuclear Heritage (SPCNH) is being remembered by family, friends and the nuclear community.

Stephens worked in the Nuclear Safety Division of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency in Paris from 1977 to 1985. He then joined Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL) Whiteshell Laboratories to do safety assessments for the disposal of used reactor fuel. In 1995, he moved to Chalk River Laboratories and held several positions in waste management and decommissioning until he retired in 2011.

Stephens was a member/past Chair of the Technical Committee of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group) on the decommissioning of nuclear facilities as well as other CSA Group technical committees. He represented Canada on International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) committees and edited IAEA safety guides.

In 2017, he helped co-found the SPCNH, based in Deep River, with the goal of collecting, safeguarding and promoting artefacts from Canada’s nuclear history.

Stephens held a bachelor of science from the University of Waterloo as well as a PhD in chemistry from McMaster University.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and sons Edward and Alex.

Tributes and condolences can be shared here.