Gord arrived in Deep River, Ontario in 1952 to work at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) after graduating in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. In 1958, Gord and Jackie along with their 3 children moved to England for 2 years before returning to Deep River in 1961. In 1965 the family moved to Mississauga, Ontario where Gord worked at AECL's Sheridan Park Research Centre. Gord retired in 1991 with the position of CANDU Operations Vice President and Chief Engineer after 39 years service with AECL. He is considered one of the pioneers of the Canadian Nuclear Industry. AECL has honoured him by awarding him the W.B. Lewis Medal for outstanding technical contribution to nuclear science & engineering as well as having the G.L. Brooks Award for innovative achievements in nuclear design named in his honour.
Gord was a very courageous man who enjoyed life and all that the world had to offer. His outgoing personality and deep laugh will be remembered by all who met him.
The children would like to thank the many life long friends who have been there to support both Gordon and Jackie over the last number of years. It has been a long hard battle and we truly appreciate their friendship - not only to dad and mom - but to us as well. Cremation and the scattering of his ashes will be held in Deep River, Ontario on 1 November 2003.
(Globe and Mail, September 30, 2003)
The Nuclear Canada Yearbook 1992, published by the
Canadian Nuclear Association, included the following tribute to Gordon Brooks upon his retirement from AECL.
Personality of the Year: Gordon Brooks
FOR NEARLY 40 YEARS, Gordon Brooks was employed by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, retiring in 1991 as Vice-President and Chief Engineer at CANDU Operations. As an outstanding leader in the nuclear history of Canada, he has set a demanding; and determined pace in contributing to nuclear science and engineering in Canada.
After graduating as a chemical engineer from the University of Alberta in 1952, Mr. Brooks joined AECL at Chalk River. In 1962, he joined the CANDU-BLW design team, and in 1965 he came to Toronto as head of the Mechanical Branch with the group assigned to design Gentilly 1. Later, he was the first General Manager of Power Projects in Montreal; then General Manager, Engineering Projects at Sheridan Park; Vice-President, Operations and Systems Engineering; Vice-President, Design and Development Division; and finally in 1982 Vice-President and Chief Engineer.
Mr. Brooks spent two short periods outside AECL. From 1959 to 1960, he was attached to UKAEA at Risley, and in 1969 to 1970 he was with Canadian Westinghouse.
Over the years, Mr. Brooks has been one of the driving forces that helped put AECL on the international nuclear map with one of the safest, most competitive and reliable reactor systems in the world. In 1989, his lifetime commitment to excellence was recognized when he became a recipient of the W.B. Lewis Medal for "outstanding technical contributions to reactor design, safety and licencing" Among his innovations was the pioneering of the shutdown system at Gentilly 1 - a concept that has been incorporated unchanged in every CANDU built since then.
His extensive grasp of safety systems and safety implications has won him a high level of international authority and credibility. This is reflected in his appointment to the prestigious Nuclear Safety Standards Senior Advisory Group of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
His memberships include the Pacific Basin Nuclear Co-operation Committee; Pacific Nuclear Council; CANDU Owners Group; Ontario Hydro Nuclear Integrity Review Committee; and SOATIC (Senior Ontario Hydro/Atomic Energy of Canada Limited Technical Information Committee). He was also a member of the Canadian expert delegation to the IAEA Chernobyl Conference.
It is hoped that even in retirement, Mr. Brooks will continue to contribute his vast knowledge to AECL and the Canadian nuclear industry, for whose success he is, in no small measure, responsible.
Some papers authored and co-authored by Gordon Brooks are found at the CANTEACH web site. The CANTEACH project is an AECL - CNS Universities Committee initiative, begun in January 2000, to produce technical educational material on CANDU reactors. There are six reports (PDF format), in the extensive Technical Documents Library, describing the evolutionary history of CANDU reactor systems: