Deep Waters: The Ottawa River and Canada's Nuclear Adventure


168 pages
Contains Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7735-2691-9
DDC 621.48'09713'81





Reviewed by Richard G. Kuhn

Richard G. Kuhn is an associate professor and chair of the Geography
Department at the University of Guelph.


Deep Waters is a history of Canada’s role in the development of
nuclear power, written in a style embellished with quaint recollections
and amusing anecdotes. The town of Deep River, which is located on the
shores of the Ottawa River, became the research home of Atomic Energy of
Canada Ltd. (AECL) in 1945 and came to symbolize Canada’s emergence in
the nuclear age.

This work is an insider’s account of what the author calls “the
halcyon days” of nuclear research and development. It focuses on the
many personalities and players that were to become almost legendary in
the technological and scientific circles of Canada’s nuclear
establishment. Krenz also pays homage to the unsung heroes responsible
for constructing the town of Deep River and to the scientists and
technologists who gave so much of themselves to the development of the
CANDU nuclear reactor, a technology that has been adopted in Canada and
exported to countries including Korea, China, Argentina, Pakistan, and
India. That India used this technology to construct and detonate a
nuclear bomb dealt a blow not only to the Canadian nuclear program but
also to the heart of many of the Canadian scientists working on the

Clearly, Krenz wrote this book out of personal conviction and
dedication to the Canadian nuclear industry. Although the final chapter
lambasting the “anti-nuclear forces” is a bit forced and
unnecessary, overall Deep Waters is a good book that provides the right
blend of personal and technical insight. Also, it is a nice complement
to the more technical histories of the Canadian nuclear program that
have emerged in recent years.


Krenz, Kim., “Deep Waters: The Ottawa River and Canada's Nuclear Adventure,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024,