The AERC came into existence on the 1st of January 2015, in accordance with the Gazette notification to this effect.  Prof. M. Prinath Dias, a former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Authority was appointed as the Chairman of the Council, and Prof. R. Hewammana, Prof. T.R. Ariyaratne, The late Ms. Sriyangani Fernanado and Mr. Gamini Gamage were appointed as Council Members. The first meeting of the Council was held on the 2nd of January.

The AERC commenced its operations with a scientific staff of 10 and a support staff of 8. An additional cadre of 26 scientific and support staff has been requested.  The AERC is presently located temporarily at the NCNDT Centre of the Atomic Energy Board at Kelaniya, and plans to move to a permanent location in the near future.