The award of the 1993 W. J. Kroll Zirconium Medal recognized the value of cooperative, multidisciplinary, applied research in tackling practical problems. This paper suggests that several other lessons relevant to the current debate on science-and-technology (S&T) policy can be drawn from our experience a quarter of a century ago. It outlines how close cooperation among those involved with the fuel for the Canadian CANDU heavy-water reactors identified a problem, then proceeded to solve it expeditiously. This capability for a rapid response to an unforeseen problem was no accident, but arose out of the conditions that existed at the Chalk River Laboratory of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and a deliberate policy to maintain this capability even when the utility's power reactors were demonstrating excellent performance.
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