Bob Walker revealed the information in his opening remarks to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on Wednesday, some two years after Ottawa sold off the Crown corporation's Candu reactor to SNC-Lavalin.
Walker was before the regulator to discuss a recent performance review of Chalk River Labs northwest of Ottawa, site of the Candu reactor, which makes a large proportion of the world's medical isotopes
Walker told CNSC board members that the government is about to announce changes to how Chalk River will be run.
"It intends to ensure a sound commercial relationship between AECL and its customers and stakeholders who share appropriately in the costs and benefits," he said.
The restructuring comes as AECL is being forced to explain why it got two grades of "below expectation" in that performance review, in the categories of management system and fitness for service."