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Animation promoting Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) historical timeline: Text version

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This is an animation promoting an interactive historical timeline that the CNSC created to celebrate its 65th anniversary. The timeline presents Canada’s nuclear history – from billions of years ago through to current developments.

This short animation presents some of the timeline’s facts. Thirteen photos, in the form of a slide show, relate the progression of nuclear through history and in Canada.

Dates on the photos mark the events, which are summarized briefly. Images of the earth and a canyon represent the early presence of nuclear from 1.8 billion years ago. From that time, we are taken rapidly through time, arriving at key dates in nuclear history – to discover recognized nuclear contributors, along with important first-time events, activities, experiments, research and inventions.

Portraits of two men, Henri Becquerel and General Andrew McNaughton are presented. Becquerel discovered radioactivity in 1896, while McNaughton directed the Atomic Energy Control Board in 1946 – Canada’s nuclear regulator that had been newly formed at the time.

Photos represent the following key dates and important “firsts”:

  • the discovery of uranium in the Northwest Territories, during the 1930s
  • the first experimental research reactor, which began operating in Chalk River Laboratories in 1945
  • the very first commercial nuclear power reactor, established in 1971 in Pickering, Ontario

A noteworthy event – the first beam therapy unit used to treat cancer in 1951 – is listed, accompanied by a photo of a woman being treated with the device.

Two logos appear to mark the creation of two important bodies:

  • the International Atomic Energy Agency in 1957
  • the CNSC, in 2000

Another image depicts cranes cleaning up debris around a nuclear reactor under the supervision of a scientific expert, making reference to the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011. This disaster underlined the need for nuclear safety oversight.

The final picture, featuring former CNSC presidents, invites viewers to visit Canada's nuclear history section on the CNSC website to learn more.

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