This weekend we were invited to an open house at our friends work, AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited). There hasn’t been an open house in over a decade and we were rather excited to get a looksie inside. Most of the people there were friends and family of the employees, most of which had never been inside either.
AECL is a nuclear research facility that (obviously) does research involving nuclear science (they developed the CANDU reactor). They also produce medical isotopes . AECL is the largest nuclear research facility in Canada, and the biggest employer in Chalk River and Deep River
Now, we didn’t get to see anything really cool like the CANDU reactor or anything – all of the really cool stuff is in ‘Active Area 2′ which we were not allowed in. But we still got to see some of the machine shops, the Fire Department, the bio research lab and the ‘emergency control centre’. The emergency control centre was my favorite part as out of all the jobs I could do there (not much) – that sector is the most interesting to me (and somewhat relevant to my degree). Many of the employees apparently didn’t know where that room was located – interesting!
The was loads of security there. We had to sign up for the open house so they could do a background check. Our cars were all searched and there was tons of security personnel there with very big guns. They were really nice though! We could not take pictures – so I didn’t have my cell phone on me all day. This meant I was unaware of the Olympic going-on’s which meant that I had no idea that we were DQ’d in the 4x100m. Any of the pictures you see here were taken on Sunday and are obviously just some ‘souvenirs’.
The other cool thing was all the signs saying ‘beware of bears’. Apparently they are on-site quite often. On our way out (it takes approximately 10 minutes to get out of the AECL boundary), I saw a bear! My very first bear!! He looked at the car driving by and I think he wanted to play or to eat me – one of the two!
Anyways, we had a good time and we are very lucky to have been allowed inside AECL for a day!