Commission renews École Polytechnique de Montréal’s SLOWPOKE-2 reactor operating licence for a 10-year period

News release

June 23, 2023 – Ottawa

Today, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced the Commission’s decision to renew the non-power reactor operating licence held by École Polytechnique de Montréal for its SLOWPOKE-2 reactor for a period of 10 years. The facility is located in Montréal, Quebec, on the traditional territory of the Anishinabek, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Kanien'keha:ka, and Mohawk peoples. This decision follows a public hearing based on written materials. The renewed licence authorizes École Polytechnique de Montréal to continue to operate its SLOWPOKE-2 non-power reactor.

In making its decision, the Commission considered written submissions from École Polytechnique de Montréal, CNSC staff and 1 intervenor. The CNSC also made participant funding available through its Participant Funding Program and invited interventions from Indigenous Nations and communities, members of the public and stakeholders. A Funding Review Committee, independent of the CNSC, reviewed the funding applications received and made recommendations on the allocation of funds. Based on the committee’s recommendations, the CNSC awarded a total of up to $500 to 1 applicant.

After reviewing all submissions, the Commission concluded that École Polytechnique de Montréal remains qualified to carry on the activities that the renewed licence will authorize. The Commission also concluded that École Polytechnique de Montréal will continue to make adequate provision for the protection of the environment and the health and safety of persons.

The record of decision is available upon request to the Commission Registry at The decision will also be posted in both official languages at at a later date. All submissions are available on the CNSC website.

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public. The Commission is a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal set up at arm’s length from government, independent from any political, government or private sector influence.


  • École Polytechnique de Montréal applied for a 10-year licence renewal on March 15, 2022.
  • In June 2022, the CNSC made funding available through its Participant Funding Program to support Indigenous Nations and communities, members of the public and stakeholders in presenting their views to the Commission.
  • The renewed licence is valid until June 30, 2033.

Quick facts

  • SLOWPOKE is an acronym for Safe LOW-POwer Kritical Experiment.
  • École Polytechnique de Montréal has been operating its SLOWPOKE-2 non-power reactor since 1976.
  • The SLOWPOKE-2 reactor is a sealed-container in-pool type research reactor.
  • SLOWPOKE-2 reactors are mainly used for neutron activation analysis in teaching, research and collaborative projects with industry actors.
  • The renewed licence contains no changes to the authorized activities or terms and conditions of the previous licence. 

Associated links


Media Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Tel: 613-996-6860


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