Commission renews the Royal Military College of Canada’s SLOWPOKE-2 reactor operating licence for a 20-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 the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) for its SLOWPOKE-2 reactor for a period of 20 years. The facility is located in Kingston, Ontario, on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Huron-Wendat peoples. This decision follows a public hearing based on written materials. The renewed licence authorizes RMC to continue to operate its SLOWPOKE-2 non-power reactor.

In making its decision, the Commission considered written submissions from RMC, CNSC staff and 2 intervenors. 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 $900 to 1 applicant. Following the participant funding application deadline, the Curve Lake First Nation expressed an interest in RMC’s licence renewal application and requested funding to support its participation in the process. The CNSC made funding available to the Curve Lake First Nation, up to an amount of approximately $10,000

After reviewing all submissions, the Commission concluded that RMC remains qualified to carry on the activities that the renewed licence will authorize. The Commission also concluded that RMC 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.


  • RMC applied for a 10-year licence renewal on February 23, 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.
  • RMC submitted a revised application on January 25, 2023 to request a licence length of 20 years.

·       The renewed licence is valid until June 30, 2043.

Quick facts

  • SLOWPOKE is an acronym for Safe LOW-POwer Kritical Experiment.
  • RMC has been operating its SLOWPOKE-2 non-power reactor since 1985.
  • The SLOWPOKE-2 reactor is a sealed-container in-pool type research reactor.
  • The RMC SLOWPOKE-2 reactor is used for neutron activation analysis, neutron radiography, neutron tomography, and nuclear and radiation protection training.
  • As part of the licence renewal, the Commission authorized an increase to the maximum allowable reactivity of the reactor from 4.0 milli-k (mk) to 4.3 mk.
  • The Commission directs that, at the midpoint of the 20-year licence period, RMC shall provide to the Commission a mid-term update. This update will address the conduct of RMC’s licensed activities, and RMC’s compliance with requirements.

Associated links


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


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