Order Respecting Ex Gratia Payments to Workers Involved in Chalk River Nuclear Decontamination: SI/2022-5

Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 156, Number 4

SI/2022-5 February 16, 2022


P.C. 2022-45 February 1, 2022

Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Natural Resources, makes the annexed Order Respecting Ex Gratia Payments to Workers Involved in Chalk River Nuclear Decontamination.

Order Respecting Ex Gratia Payments to Workers Involved in Chalk River Nuclear Decontamination


1 The following definitions apply in this Order.

means Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. (ÉACL)
means the Minister of Natural Resources. (ministre)
means a full-time, part-time, seasonal or casual employee of AECL; an individual engaged as a contractor by AECL or engaged as a subcontractor of the contractor; and an employee of that contractor or subcontractor. (travailleur)


2 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister is authorized, on application under section 4, to make an ex gratia payment of $28,500 to a worker who actively participated in on-site clean up or decontamination activities at AECL’s Chalk River, Ontario, nuclear reactor facilities during either or both of the following periods:


(2) No person who was eligible for an ex gratia payment as a veteran or science and technology worker under section 2 of the Order Respecting Ex Gratia Payments to Veterans and Science and Technology Workers Involved in Nuclear Weapons Testing or Nuclear Decontamination footnote 1, is eligible for a payment under this Order whether or not the person made an application under that Order.

Death of worker

3 In the case of a worker who would otherwise meet the criteria set out in section 2 but who has died, the Minister is authorized, on application under section 4, to make the payment set out in section 2


4 (1) An application for an ex gratia payment under section 2 or 3 must be submitted to the Minister on or before March 31, 2023 by the worker who meets the criteria set out in section 2, or by the person or persons referred to in section 3, in the form approved by the Minister and supported by any evidence that the Minister considers necessary.

Late applications

(2) If an application is submitted after March 31, 2023, the application may be accepted by the Minister if the Minister is satisfied that the applicant was unable to submit the application before that date because of facts or circumstances beyond their control.


5 (1) A payment under section 2 or 3 consists of a one-time lump sum payment.

Time limit

(2) No payment is to be made by the Minister under this Order after March 31, 2024, unless circumstances beyond the control of the applicant necessitate a longer period for payment.

No Crown liability

6 A payment made under this Order does not constitute an admission of liability on the part of the Crown.


(This note is not part of the Order.)


The Order in Council authorizes the Minister of Natural Resources to make ex gratia payments in the amount of $28,500 to eligible workers employed by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) who took part in the clean-ups of incidents in research reactors at Chalk River Laboratories in 1952 and 1958.


The Atomic Workers Recognition Program will provide recognition to workers and contractors employed by AECL who, in 1952 and 1958, assisted with the clean-up of two reactor incidents in research reactors at the Chalk River Laboratories.


In 1952 and 1958, two serious nuclear research reactor incidents occurred at the Chalk River Laboratories requiring clean-up activities. In each instance, AECL workers who were qualified stepped in to begin clean-up efforts; however, due to the severity of the situation and the need to keep radiation exposures to safe limits, other AECL staff were asked to volunteer. The deployment of Department of National Defence (DND) personnel became necessary when AECL workers started to reach radiation exposure limits.

While DND’s 2008–2009 Atomic Veterans Recognition Program already recognized the contributions of DND employees to the clean-up of these accidents, employees of AECL were excluded from that program. Following the DND program, and inquiries from AECL workers, the Government examined the need for a similar program that would recognize AECL workers.


By providing recognition to AECL workers, the Minister of Natural Resources will highlight the contribution of these workers in decades past. The workers themselves, their families, and Canadians will be aware of the important role they played during a time of crisis.


Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has received and responded to letters from those who have written to the Government asking that they or their family member be provided with recognition as was previously provided to the DND personnel some years ago. Since a similar program for AECL workers did not exist at the time, responses noted that the issue was being studied. Following the Budget announcement in 2021, NRCan sent letters to inform all past correspondents that there would be an Atomic Workers Recognition Program.


Jim Delaney
Natural Resources Canada
Email: Jim.Delaney@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca