Tag Archives: SNC-Lavalin

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Celebrating Canada 150: Nuclear Science and Innovation

From the birthplace of Confederation, Charlottetown, to the home of the nation’s capital, Ottawa, the fireworks send off to mark Canada’s 150th birthday is only one in a series of celebrations to acknowledge the storied history of our country. As Canada officially celebrates a century and a half we wanted to look back the contributions that our nuclear scientists have made to our country and beyond.

The latest numbers from the Canadian Cancer Society predict that 2 out of every 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime. While cancer can target people at any age, people over 50 are at the greatest risk for developing some form of cancer. Over the years, numerous advancements have been made in the field of cancer research but the work done by a team of researchers in Saskatoon arguably paved the way for today’s cancer treatments.

Sylvia Fedoruk, a pioneer in the field of medical physics, was the only woman in Canada working in the field in the 1950s. Fedoruk was a member of a University of Saskatchewan team working on cobalt-60 radiation therapy. Under the guidance of Dr. Harold Johns, Fedoruk and others were the first group in Canada to successfully treat a cancer patient using cobalt-60 radiation therapy. Thanks to their pioneering work, over 70 million people around the world have benefited from this type of treatment. In fact, the benefits of cobalt-60 machines go far beyond the Canadian border as cobalt-60 radiation therapy machines have been used all over the world to treat cancer patients.

Building on the early work of scientists, advancements in nuclear medicine include the use of alpha therapies. Through a targeted approach, cancer cells are blasted from the inside out, minimizing the damage to healthy tissues. These alpha-emitting isotopes are thought to be especially effective for people that are dealing with late-stage or metastasized cancers (cancer that has spread from one part of the body to another) and could be the basis for the next wave of cancer treatments.

“It’s a magic bullet for people in the cancer field because it has the beauty of sparing healthy tissues and finding and weeding out tiny tumours,” according to Dr. Tom Ruth, Special Advisor, Emeritus, TRIUMF.

Clean, reliable and sustainable energy is one of the pillars of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Canada’s nuclear industry is a driving force of the economy, contributing over 6 billion dollars to the country and employing over 60,000 people both directly and indirectly.

Our CANDU technology helped spur opportunities for power generation. The Pickering nuclear power plant came on line in 1971 just four years after Douglas Point came online. Ontario was the first province to introduce nuclear into its electrical generation, New Brunswick would soon follow suit in the early 1980s. The efficiency and cleanliness of nuclear allowed Ontario to reduce emissions and provide energy security following the province’s decision to axe coal from electrical generation in 2014, eliminating smog days from the province. It is estimated that thanks to nuclear power production in Ontario alone, 45 million tonnes of carbon is removed from the atmosphere, equal to 10 million cars.

Canada’s history with nuclear generation goes back over half a century ago, when a team of engineers in Montreal developed the first reactor known as the National Research Experimental (NRX) reactor. The NRX, which came on line in 1947, led the way for research into isotopes and positioned Canada as a world leader in supplying the much-needed medical material all over the world ever since.

Communities are at the very core of the nuclear industry and you don’t need to look further than Cameco to see the positive impacts that community partnerships have. For over twenty-five years, Cameco Corporation has partnered with communities across Northern Saskatchewan as the largest private employer of First Nations and Metis people in Canada.

“More or less our community can have a future. Because of our young populations we need to be more sustaining and more certain, and this is one of the things that industry has brought to us, a lot of hope,” states Mike Natomagnan, the mayor of Pinehouse Lake and a former Cameco worker.

Canada’s nuclear industry continues to serve as a model for leadership, using science to find solutions to real world challenges. Our commitment to sustainable development and economic well-being is equal to our commitment to research and innovation. Powering the next generation of space travel is just one of the missions that Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is investing in.

A partnership between Technical Solutions Management (TSM), Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) would support and augment the Department of Energy’s program to renew the production of Pu-238, allowing scientists to continue their exploration of our solar system and beyond.

“Our hope is to land a contract to expand the amount of Pu-238 that is available for space exploration,” stated Glen Elliott, Director, Business Development, Ontario Power Generation.

If approved, within five years, we could be ready to power future space ventures with Pu-238 partially produced in Canada. The concept would rely on a commercial reactor to produce the necessary isotope, specifically OPG’s Darlington reactor.

The future of nuclear science will continue to explore ocean health and the ecosystems that are vital to our food chain thanks to research and work with isotopes. Dr. Sherwood Lollar was recently appointed to the Order of Canada for her work in geochemistry looking at the movement of groundwater and tracking environmental contaminants.

Through innovation, we will welcome the next generation of reactors. These include SNC-Lavalin’s Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactor (AFCR) which takes the used fuel from light water reactors and repurposes it as new fuel for the CANDU, thus effectively recycling an important energy-rich waste stream, while reducing considerably the volume of CANDU reactor waste. The AFCR may shortly see the light of day in China.

The next generation also includes the development of small modular reactors (SMRs), ensuring an energy future that allows for healthier communities, removing diesel from the energy mix, continuing to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions and opening the door to cut carbon from the transportation sector through the development of hydrogen fuels. The heat potential locked in future reactors could provide opportunities for community agriculture production in the form of greenhouses, affording people healthier food regardless of where they live.

Our commitment to science and research holds the promise of continued advancements and leadership in health, the environment and energy. As we look back on the first 150 years of investments in nuclear science and technology, we are excited to see what the next 150 will bring and we are confident it will continue to build on a better tomorrow and a stronger Canada for all of us.

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The Canadian Space Agency’s Nuclear Connection

A competition for two new astronaut spots launched by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) received over 3,000 applicants from outstanding Canadians looking to be part of the new frontier in space exploration. From a list of thousands, the race to space is getting narrow, just over a dozen candidates remain. The candidates are as different as their backgrounds and include military personnel, doctors and engineers.

Amongst those in the final running to be selected to join the CSA’s elite team is Alex DeLorey, a project manager for the Bruce Power Nuclear Refurbishment and a SNC-Lavalin team member.
DeLorey is hoping to be one of the final two to earn a coveted spot with the CSA.

Courtesy: Alex DeLorey

“The round of seventy-two was very physical, testing what you’d need to do to be successful on the job, including a grip test while wearing a space suit which is pressurized. The pressurized suit makes it harder to close your hands and demonstrates the difficulty of using tools in space. The round of thirty-two was survival testing,” according to DeLorey.

The survival testing included a series of drills that involved everything from simulating a helicopter crashing into ocean water to various emergency situations, such as fires and floods. To prepare for the trials, DeLorey spent time with the Milton fire department running through different scenarios that included re-enacting rescuing a person from a burning building; containing hazardous materials and rappelling down three stories on a rope. The man who looks to David Saint-Jacques as the astronaut he admires most, spent last summer learning to scuba dive, skydive and fly an airplane, all of this even before submitting an application.

“I had done quite a bit of research on the last recruitment campaign and tailored my preparation for it. I still fly at least once a week to keep my skills up and once it warms up I’ll try to get some scuba and skydiving in,” said DeLorey. “I have been going to the gym regularly at 6:00 am every weekday for the past four years and I also swim a few times a week.”

His strict regimen includes studying all things space related and keeping up with his French language training, even though he is already bilingual. Then there’s his day job as a Project Manager on the Bruce Power Refurbishment: A background which he believes has helped him in his outer space quest.

“I think it helped prepare me quite a bit. I’ve been on the reactor face for Wolsong (A nuclear power plant in South Korea) breathing out of a tube. The places and the situations are very stressful and they can be dangerous if you make wrong choices and so it has prepared me in that sense,” according to DeLorey. “Nuclear is a small industry but an international industry and I have experience of working with international teams so it’s given me quite a bit of preparation.”

The biggest challenge for this astronaut contender is time management. On top of the tremendous amount of training that has been required to get him this far, he continues to maintain his full-time job as a member of the SNC-Lavalin team. He also makes sure he can get out into the community and engage with students about the importance of pursuing your dreams and he recently became a dad for the first time. To make it all happen, DeLorey relies on a strong support network and he gives credit to his wife for his successes to date.

DeLorey speaking to students

Recently, the Trump administration signed a bill in support of NASA, support which could see a manned mission to Mars. It’s a mission this Canadian hopes he will be a part of.

“The plans for space missions in the future include sending astronauts beyond the moon for deep space testing and finally further to Mars,” stated DeLorey. “I would most like to be a part of any of those missions and get to be on the call back to Earth to tell everyone that we had made it to the destination and be a part of the excitement that would come from that.”

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Nuclear Industry Execs See Opportunity in Canada

Below is a guest blog from our friends at AREVA who were among the 70+ sponsors and exhibitors at the 2012 CNA Conference and Trade Show in Ottawa. AREVA, like many of our member companies, is a great champion for Canada’s nuclear industry. The post below sums up our industry’s optimism with a few key highlights from this year’s presentations. Thanks for sharing, AREVA!

Tom Mitchell - Chair, WANO Fukushima Response Commission

Executives from the nuclear energy industry expressed optimism regarding business opportunities in Canada this week at the Canadian Nuclear Association’s (CNA) annual conference in Ottawa. Despite the concerns raised following the events at Fukushima, industry leaders see strong prospects for business in Canada.

“While other jurisdictions may be scaling back their nuclear energy commitment because of Fukushima, we are not,” said Tom Mitchell, president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation (OPG), according to an article in the Ottawa Citizen. Mitchell pointed out the events of last year have presented the industry with “a great opportunity.”

“It’s once again made people aware of nuclear energy. It may have put some aspects of the industry on the spot. But it’s also put us in the spotlight,” Mitchell said.

Patrick Lamarre, Executive Vice President, SNC-Lavalin

Patrick Lamarre, executive vice president at SNC-Lavalin group, told a packed conference that “our nuclear business is something we believe in.” Lamarre added that this business could contribute to a significant portion of our bottom line,” according to a Reuters report.

Lamarre urged the Ontario government to move forward with plans to build new reactors in the province, projects he said that would be important for the Province’s economy.

AREVA remains very committed in building new nuclear plants in Canada and has proposed its technology in Ontario as well as in New Brunswick.

“As the leading supplier to the nuclear sector worldwide, AREVA has very broad experience building new reactors and providing services to the existing fleet. In addition, AREVA is one of Canada’s top uranium producers. We remain very bullish regarding opportunities in Canada across all of our business lines,” said Jean-Francois Beland, executive vice president of AREVA Canada.

 

(This post originally appeared here)

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Canada’s Nuclear Industry Aligned for Growth in 2012

February 24, 2012 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canada’s nuclear industry is poised for future growth and prosperity, according to discussions at the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) Annual Conference and Trade Show in Ottawa.

Canada’s nuclear industry is as strong as ever,” said Denise Carpenter, President and Chief Executive Officer, CNA. “Over the past few days, we have had great discussions on how our industry is leveraging lessons learned from Fukushima and how innovations in research and technology can improve and grow nuclear in Canada and abroad.”

More than 650 delegates from the nuclear community attended the conference, themed ‘Leadership Through Innovation.’

Tom Mitchell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), provided an overview of the progress made by the World Association of Nuclear Operators Fukushima Response Commission and discussed groundbreaking methods of communicating risk and nuclear safety. (Download the PDF of Tom’s speech here)

“We are not ignoring the lessons we learned from Fukushima,” said Mitchell. “Safety, despite our industry’s excellent track record, can never be taken for granted.”

OPG has almost a dozen Fukushima-related projects underway or planned for implementation between now and the end of 2016.

Underscoring the industry’s growth, the Honourable Rob Norris, Saskatchewan’s Minister Responsible for Innovation, announced a multi-year agreement to provide funding for the new $30 million Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation.

Other conference highlights included a keynote speech by Patrick Lamarre on the future opportunities for SNC-Lavalin Nuclear following their recent acquisition of the CANDU Reactor Division of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, and the presentation of the annual Ian McRae Award to Mr. Gerald (Jerry) Grandey, former Chief Executive Officer of Cameco Corporation.

Conference highlights, including links to videos from speaker sessions, can be found on Twitter by following @TalkNUclear and #cnagm2012.

(Update: check out #cnagm2012 photo highlights on our Google+ page)

CNA2012 Update – Westinghouse CTO Kate Jackson Joins Agenda

We are pleased to announce Westinghouse‘s Kate Jackson has been added to the excellent roster of presenters at the 2012 Canadian Nuclear Association Conference and Trade Show.

Dr. Kate Jackson is sr. vice president and chief technology officer at Westinghouse. Since returning to Westinghouse, where she began her career as an engineer in the former Nuclear Technology Division, Kate has made significant contributions to the formulation of Westinghouse’s new technology development process. Dr. Jackson rejoined Westinghouse in 2008 as vice president, strategy for Research & Technology, following 17 years at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), where she held a number of executive roles involving leadership of key technology, research and environmental initiatives. Immediately prior to joining Westinghouse, she served as executive vice president in charge of River System Operations & Environment and chief environmental officer.

Dr. Jackson will speak on the topic of innovation, as well as participate in a panel discussion titled “Bright Ideas to Keep the Lights On.”

Of this latest addition to the agenda, WiN-Canada Executive Director, Cheryl Cottrill, says:

WiN is very pleased to see Kate Jackson, a senior level female executive, on your conference agenda. Kate is very supportive of WiN in the U.S. and she will be a great addition to your program.

Don’t forget to keep in touch with our weekly Conference updates and Sponsor Spotlights at TalkNuclear.ca

 To register or for more information, see the links below, or contact Alex Wolf at wolfa@cna.ca.

 See you in February!

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CNA Supports the Acquisition of the CANDU Reactor Division of AECL

President & CEO of the CNA – Denise Carpenter

Since the Government of Canada announced plans to restructure AECL in 2007, the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) has been consistent and clear that we support a structure that will advance the nuclear energy industry in Canada and make it more competitive. Today’s decision marks the turning of an important corner for Canadian nuclear technology. SNC-Lavalin, like AECL, is a valued member of the CNA and we wish them success in this new venture. Great opportunities lie ahead.

The CNA represents the future of all nuclear technologies in Canada.  We want to grow the benefits those technologies can bring to the lives of Canadians. Our industry supports changes that will open up opportunities to expand those benefits and the excellent, high-knowledge jobs that go along with them. We have also emphasized that research is at the heart of our industry.

For Canada to remain a competitive player in the global nuclear industry we need investments in science, technology and innovation to maintain our expertise which is known around the world. The next step, in our view, is for the Government to review the governance and future of nuclear science and technology in Canada.

The division of AECL that is not being divested is central to the nuclear S&T sector in Canada.  That sector also consists of major facilities in Vancouver, Saskatoon and Laval plus various private companies and more than a dozen universities across the country.  We urge the Government to strike an expert panel as soon as possible to consider the governance and future of this sector.

CANDU reactor designs are intrinsically safe and proliferation-resistant.  They exceed federal standards, and operate safely in at least six countries including some of the largest future markets for nuclear:  China, India and South Korea.  With their excellent record of operating performance, these designs – and the group of Canadians who stand behind them – potentially have a large role to play in meeting the needs of these and other emerging markets.

So do the rest of the roughly 100 companies in our industry and the people who work there, spreading the benefits of nuclear technologies – from medicine, to food safety, to crop science, to advanced manufacturing – around the world.

On behalf of the Canadian nuclear industry, we congratulate SNC-Lavalin as they renew and grow their role in Canada’s commercial reactor sector.”