SLOWPOKE

Schematic of the SLOWPOKE reactor

Commissioned in April 1977, the University of Alberta's Safe Low Power Kritical Experiment (SLOWPOKE) Nuclear Reactor Facility is a low-power reactor used to  support research, teaching and industry. 

The reactor is located on the U of A main campus. 

Status

SLOWPOKE Reactor Decommissioning Public Information Update

  • The University of Alberta SLOWPOKE nuclear reactor will soon be removed from service and its components moved away from the University of Alberta in a process referred to as decommissioning.
  • The University of Alberta is working with and through the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on a series of steps that will ensure that all aspects related to the decommissioning of the SLOWPOKE reactor and removal of equipment is carried out in accordance with all regulations and safe work practices.
  • One of the steps of the decommissioning process involves community consultation, which will include opportunities such as a public information meeting, access to information about the decommissioning process, a schedule, and a contact person for all inquiries. 
  • The public information meeting was held on October 6, 2016 to review information about the plans for the decommissioning. Approximately 15 people attended.
  • The formal application to decommission the SLOWPOKE with the required supporting documentation was submitted to CNSC on Dec 21. We have been advised that the review process will take 4 to 6 months. On completion of the submission review, the university will be advised on a date for a hearing in Ottawa which will then determine the date for site activities to commence.
  • You can download a brochure that highlights the decommissioning process along with contact information for any inquiries. 

Below you will find the following documents that refer to the SLOWPOKE decommissioning process to date:

SLOWPOKE Reactor Decommissioning Public Info Meeting 

On October 6, 2016 the University of Alberta held a public information meeting to to review information about the plans for the decommissioning the SLOWPOKE Reactor. University of Alberta representatives were on hand to answer questions. 

If you were unable to attend the public information meeting, you can view the information presented on the following: uab.ca/community

Public Information Meeting presentation

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Ball at (780) 492-4345 or by e-mail at emily.ball@ualberta.ca.

SLOWPOKE Decommissioning

Through a public procurement process the University of Alberta has selected Candu Energy Inc. a subsidiary of the SNC Lavalin group to undertake the activities required for decommissioning of the University of Alberta - SLOWPOKE nuclear reactor. Candu Energy Inc. will be responsible for working within and leading all activities required by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for the reactor decommissioning process.
 
Currently the schedule provided by CNSC has paper work review for 12 to 18 months which puts the physical decommissioning activities in late 2017. Candu Energy Inc.will provide an update schedule in six months that will be based on progress discussions with CNSC. This updated schedule will be more reflective of the timing for the on-site physical work.
 
Key next step activities over the next three months include:
 
  • University to prepare the public information / consultation plan. This plan requires specific communication with Aboriginals within 50 km radius. Public consultation are planned to commence the first week in April 2016.
  • Candu Energy Inc. and the university meeting will be required to meet with CNSC for a one / two day public hearing to review the decommissioning program in mid March.
  • University to develop the site security and construction hoarding plans.
  • University to commence the environmental scan (Matrix Solutions has been retained for this).
  • Candu Energy Inc. to commence the preparation of the various documentation submittal packages.

 

Regulation

The SLOWPOKE reactor is a Class I (non-power) nuclear facility licensed and regulated by the CNSC. The current non-power reactor operating license was issued in June 2013 for a ten-year period.

The CNSC inspects the facility annually.

Safety

All SLOWPOKE staff and visitors must abide by the university's comprehensive health and safety program, developed and managed by Environment, Health & Safety. The facility also maintains an emergency response program in collaboration with University of Alberta Protective Services (UAPS) and Fire Rescue Services (FRS).

The SLOWPOKE reactor meets CNSC environment, health and safety regulations.

SLOWPOKE Reactor Decommissioning Public Info Meeting 

On October 6, 2016 the University of Alberta held a public information meeting to to review information about the plans for the decommissioning the SLOWPOKE Reactor. University of Alberta representatives were on hand to answer questions. 

If you were unable to attend the public information meeting, you can view the information presented on the following: uab.ca/community

Public Information Meeting presentation

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Ball at (780) 492-4345 or by e-mail at emily.ball@ualberta.ca.