The national strategy to rebuild Canadian capacity for materials research with neutron beams includes four key objectives:
- Forge partnerships with high-brightness neutron sources in other countries;
- Build on existing domestic capabilities, including full exploitation of the McMaster Nuclear Reactor, a medium-brightness neutron source;
- Explore and invest in developing new neutron sources for the long term; and
- Create a new, national governance and management framework for these activities.
This national neutron strategy was formed under the leadership of the Canadian Neutron Initiative (CNI) working group, which was an executive-level forum for coordinating activities related to each of these objectives and integrating them into a cohesive national neutron strategy, operating from 2016 to 2022. This strategy grew out of consultations with universities across Canada, government agencies, industry, and potential foreign partners, as well as with researchers individually and collectively through the Canadian Institute for Neutron Scattering. The pinnacle event in the development of the strategy was the December 2020 roundtable on the national neutron strategy. The report from the roundtable on the national neutron strategy described the consensus of the community around this strategy.
Neutrons Canada is the central feature of key objective #4. The CNI working group was mandated to act as the steering committee for the creation of “Neutrons Canada” at a January 2020 roundtable of Canadian university VPs. The report from the roundtable on Neutrons Canada described the need for a new entity with institutional members, that can manage a coherent national infrastructure program (comprised of activities to implement objectives #1, #2, and #3), play a unifying role for the neutron beam community in Canada, and be a credible and trusted institutional voice.
The Neutron Long-Range Plan 2025-2035 is being developed to guide implementation of the national neutron strategy over the next decade.