Monthly Archives: June 2012

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National Aboriginal Day in Canada – June 21

Did you know: The Canadian uranium industry is the leading employer of Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan, and Cameco is the leading industrial employer in Canada overall?

Our industry takes great pride in the communities in which it operates. We know our neighbors and we contribute to the economic, environmental, and social prosperity of the cities and towns where we work and live.

Today, on National Aboriginal Day, TalkNUclear would like to highlight the contributions of three of our members who rely on Aboriginal communities as a valuable part of their workforce and for input into their planning and projects for the benefit of all of Canada’s people, including its First Peoples.

Did you know: Canada produces 18% of all global uranium, making us the second largest producer in the world. Our uranium industry directly and indirectly employs about 14,000 people in Saskatchewan.

Cameco is a proud sponsor of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) fourth National Event in Saskatoon, taking place from June 21-24 at Prairieland Park. “The TRC Saskatchewan National Event is an opportunity for all Canadians, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, to learn more about and bear witness to the legacy of the residential school system,” said Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the TRC.

Did you know: The province of Saskatchewan has the largest number of Residential School Survivors in Canada.  Approximately 10 per cent of them reside in Saskatoon.

Visit for more information.

If you’re in the area, join the AREVA office in La Ronge for the AREVA Celebration BBQ! Celebrate Summer and National Aboriginal Day, Thursday, June 21 at 4:00pm. Enjoy a burger and a pop while you meet some of AREVA’s employees and management, and learn more about AREVA’s operations, jobs and contracting opportunities.

Don’t know La Ronge? La Ronge is the largest community in Northern Saskatchewan with over 3500 people residing in the town itself and about 2000 people on the adjacent First Nations lands of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and some 1000 people residing in the bordering settlement of Air Ronge.
Learn more here:

Bruce Power is providing its employees an opportunity to learn about the cultures of Canada’s Aboriginal people with a celebration that includes a tradition drum circle, Native dancers, and cedar tea and cake. The event is hosted by the Bruce Power Native Circle, which is a group of 30 self-identified employees of Aboriginal heritage. “The day will be about sharing our rich and beautiful culture,” said Sismo – Pam Schwartzentruber, the chair of Bruce Power’s Native Circle. “I find not everyone in our area is aware of the unique parts of our First Nations and Métis communities.” Festivities and learning takes place June 21 from 10am-12pm at Bruce Power. More details here:

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Going Deep Underground: Cameco and AREVA Uranium Mine and Mills Tour

This is a guest blog by the CNA’s Regulatory Affairs Officer, Matthew Hickman. Looks like it was a great tour at a truly impressive set of facilities!

AREVA’s McClean Lake mill in northern Saskatchewan is the only facility in the world capable of processing high-grade uranium ore without diluting it.

On June 13, 2012 AREVA and Cameco hosted the staff and Board of Directors of the Canadian Nuclear Association on a tour of their mining facilities in northern Saskatchewan.  Tour participants had the incredible opportunity to see the mining and milling operations at the McArthur River uranium mine and McClean Lake mill.


The day started at AREVA’s McClean Lake site after a quick flight from Saskatoon. The McClean Lake site is located approximately 700 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, and is comprised of several uranium mines and the newest, most technologically advanced uranium mill in North America.  Our tour guide Glenn was very knowledgeable and provided us with a tour of the entire uranium milling process, from extraction to final packaging.  The milling facility was as impressive as it was complex and the safety features and processes were evident.

Cameco's McArthur River Operation: The main McArthur River head frame houses the hoist over the main (Pollock) shaft which deliver miners and equipment as deep as 680 metres below surface.


Our next stop was the Cameco McArthur River site, which is also located within the Athabasca Basin approximately 60 kilometers west from the McClean Lake site.  The first thing that stuck out to me was the small footprint of the entire mining operation – only about 4 square kilometers.  Equally fascinating was that the McArthur River site is the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine, with the average ore grade of 16.89%.

The primary themes that I have extracted from this tour are the unique and innovative mining techniques, employee pride and evident safety culture.  I can definitely say that the tour surpassed my expectations and would highly recommend it to anyone if they ever have the opportunity.  Finally, I would like to graciously thank our hosts, AREVA and Cameco for providing such an amazing opportunity to the CNA.

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Launch of WiN-Saskatchewan

We here at are very pleased to be sharing this news with you. Today Women-in-Nuclear Canada (WiN) is launching its very first chapter west of Ontario! Congratulations to all involved in this great achievement signalling a growing engagement among the industry and commitment to nuclear all across Canada.

Thanks to WiN-Canada for allowing us to repost this event information from their website.

June 11, 2012

All aboard!!  Yes, the first chapter west of Ontario is about to be launched in Saskatchewan.  Together with Women in Mining, WiN-Saskatchewan will host a networking opportunity for women in nuclear medicine, academia and science to officially announce the launching of the Saskatchewan Chapter of WiN.  This opportunity will provide an important venue for other members of WiN-Canada to interact with the new WiN-Saskatchewan chapter members and to meet the members of our sister organization, Women in Mining (WIM).  WIM is a logical group to join forces with in Saskatchewan since so many of our members will have ties to both organizations.  We invite as many of the WiN members in other parts of Canada to come and join in with the celebration.

As many of you may know, Saskatchewan has a history with nuclear.  Last year, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the development of the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan.  In addition, this province is one of the world’s largest producers of uranium and employs a large number of women in that sector.  The University of Saskatchewan pioneered the use of cobalt 60 in cancer treatments.  And, Saskatchewan also has the Canadian Light Source synchrotron and a slowpoke reactor!  Nuclear is not new to Saskatchewan but having a WiN chapter will be!

The Canadian Nuclear Society has been very supportive and has presented us with this opportunity to get together and celebrate the launching of the new chapter at TCU Place during the CNS 33rd Annual Conference and 36th Annual Student Conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  Important to note, you can attend the WiN meeting without attending the CNS Conference.  Hence, we will need to have members RSVP in advancetheir attendance so we can arrange entry with the CNS conference registrar.  A letter of welcome and an invitation to the meeting is attached to this email.  The formal part of the agenda will be kept short to allow time for networking and interaction.  So, the more people that can attend the better.  This is an exciting milestone for Saskatchewan!

As the chapter gets organized, there will be an announcement on the WiN-Canada website ( introducing the new leadership group.  However, until the leadership is in place for WiN-Saskatchewan, all inquiries or comments can be sent to Kathryn Black by email at or by phone at 306 566-3127!  RSVPs for the event can also be sent to Kathryn at the same contact email.

We are looking forward to welcoming all of the WiN-Canada members who can attend to join us in Saskatoon for this important chapter launch and networking event.

Launch of WiN-Saskatchewan

TCU Place
Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)

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Announcing our New Board of Directors!

We held our 52nd AGM on Thursday May 17 at AECON headquarters in Cambridge, Ontario. It was a momentous occasion as we elected 12 Directors to our Board. That is more elected members, more representation across the industry, than ever before! We are stronger when we work together.

Welcome to the brand new additions to our Board of Directors: Edward Veckie, Carol Wilson Hodges, Jeremy Rasmussen, Tim Reedman, Joseph Zwetolitz, Howard Shearer, Macit Cobanoglu, and Nick Aroutzidis. We’re excited to work with all of you, on the path forward to a stronger and vibrant nuclear industry in Canada!

Meet our new Board of Directors

Executive Committee

  • Past Chair: ONTARIO POWER GENERATION, Wayne Robbins, Chief Nuclear Officer
  • Chair: CAMECO CORPORATION, Grant Isaac, Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Vice Chair: BRUCE POWER, Duncan Hawthorne, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Finance Chair: TETRA TECH, Hany Michael, Senior Vice President, Nuclear Division
  • Governance Committee Chair AECL, Robert Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Public Affairs Committee Chair AREVA CANADA INC., Jean-François Béland, Executive Vice-President
  • Regulatory Advisory Committee Chair: KINECTRICS INC., Katherine Moshonas Cole, Executive Consultant


  • AECON, Macit Cobanoglu, Vice President, Nuclear New Board member
  • AMEC, James Rippon, President
  • BABCOCK & WILCOX CANADA, Mike Lees, President, Nuclear Power Generation Group
  • CANADIAN POWER UTILITY SERVICES LTD., Jordan Quan Ban Chou, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • CANDU ENERGY INC., Kevin Wallace, President & General Manager
  • E.S. FOX, Spencer Fox, President
  • ÉNERGIE NB POWER, Blair Kennedy, Vice President, Nuclear
  • ENERGYSOLUTIONS CANADA, Carol Wilson Hodges, President New Board Member!
  • GE-HITACHI NUCLEAR ENERGY CANADA INC., Peter W. Mason, President  & Chief Executive Officer
  • HATCH LTD., Alan O’Brien, Global Managing Director
  • HITACHI POWER SYSTEMS CANADA LTD, Howard Shearer, President and Chief Executive Officer New Board Member!
  • HYDRO-QUÉBEC, Mario Désilets, Director, Nuclear Generation
  • IAN MARTIN LIMITED, Bruce Mullock, General Manager
  • INDUSTRIAL AUDIT CORPORATION, Jeremy Rasmussen, President New Board Member!
  • L-3 MAPPS, Michael Chatlani, Vice President, Marketing & Sales Power Systems and Simulation
  • MACDONALD, DETTWILER AND ASSOCIATES INC., Tim Reedman, Director Terrestrial Applications, Space Missions New Board Member!
  • NA ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES INC., Nick Aroutzidis, Principal New Board Member!
  • NEWMAN HATTERSLEY LTD., Michael Krause, Operations Director
  • POWER WORKERS’ UNION, Don MacKinnon, President
  • SASKPOWER, Robert Watson, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • SOCIETY OF ENERGY PROFESSIONALS, Rod Sheppard, President (pro-term)
  • UNIFIED ENGINEERING, Edward Veckie, Vice President New Board Member!
  • WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CANADA, INC., Joseph Zwetolitz, Vice President New Board Member!


The CNA Board of Directors meets to elect new members


Chairman’s farewell. Thank you, Wayne, for your years of service!
John Beck, Aecon Chair, addresses the crowd at the Refurbishment Summit that followed our AGM.
Panel of speakers at the Aecon Refurbishment Summit
Minister Bentley speaking to the audience
Minister Bentley and VIPs at the Aecon Refurbishment Summit
Minister Bentley and Aecon Staff
Preparing for a tour of the Aecon shop floor. Nice safety gear!


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Canada Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Nuclear Power Generation

The Canadian nuclear industry today celebrates the 50th anniversary of nuclear power generation in Canada!

On June 4th, 1962, in Rolphton, Ontario, the Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor began supplying electricity to the Ontario grid, producing enough electricity to power 10,000 homes.  Today, nuclear power generation supplies 15 % of Canada’s safe, clean, and reliable electricity, and almost 60% in Ontario alone.

Birds-eye view of NPD

“This historic achievement marks an important milestone in Canada’s leadership in nuclear energy and technology,” said Denise Carpenter, Canadian Nuclear Association President and CEO. “The NPD was made possible through the combined expertise and innovation of several companies we know today, such as AECL, and with the support and direction of the National Research Council.”

One of NPD’s essential roles was as a prototype for Canada’s homegrown CANDU technology as it was the first heavy-water power reactor in the world. It used Canadian natural uranium and assumed the horizontal pressure-tube arrangement, which is characteristic of all CANDU units to this day. This made NPD the first commercial power reactor to have a completely replaceable core, and the first to refuel while operating at full power – both signature CANDU traits.

In the five decades since, Canada’s CANDU nuclear fleet has grown to include 20 reactors with two more planned at Darlington in Ontario to help the province achieve its clean energy goals – similarly, this was the goal when nuclear energy was developed 50 years ago to compete with coal.

“Today also marks the kick-off of Canadian Environment Week,” added Carpenter. “This is particularly significant since nuclear energy provides a clean and reliable source of power that is an important part of Canada’s clean energy portfolio.”

The role of nuclear in Canada goes far beyond being a safe, clean, affordable, available, and reliable source of energy. Nuclear has an important role to play in medicine, research, food safety, highly-skilled jobs, and makes crucial contributions to other industries across the Canadian economy.

The women and men who worked to give us the gift of the clean, reliable, affordable nuclear power generation we enjoy today. Thank you!

The NPD was shut down in 1987 after having exceeded its operational goals. Our thanks to the women and men who brought us this strong symbol of Canadian innovation for a powerful, clean energy future.

For more information about nuclear in Canada and around the world, please visit CNA’s Factbook.


Additional Info:

AECL marks 50th anniversary of nuclear power in Canada – June 4, 2012

50th anniversary of nuclear power in Canada observed at UOIT – April 9, 2012

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Canadian Environment Week Kicks Off!

What a fantastic coincidence that Canadian Environment Week and the anniversary of the first nuclear generated electricity arrive at the same time. June 4th, 2012, marks the 50th anniversary of the Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor and the beginning of clean-air energy production in Canada. The NPD provided enough electricity to power 10,000 homes in 1962. Today nuclear energy powers 15% of Canada, and almost 60% of Ontario.

All while diverting tonnes of carbon from the earth’s atmosphere.

The United Nations declared 2012 to be the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Nuclear is a sustainable source of energy, but more than that, it’s a source of support for sustainable development.

Energy demand is growing in Canada and around the world. Steadily growing world populations want and deserve the same economic conditions and standard of living we enjoy in Canada. This demands more energy – most of which is still being derived from burning fossil fuels, which we know contribute to climate change and deadly smog.

There is a huge nuclear renaissance going on in China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey, Russia, with hundreds of plants in the works. They know this is the way to invest if they want to meet their energy needs for the rest of this century and improve air quality at the same time.

The good news is, electricity currently generated by nuclear power facilities globally saves the potential emission of about 2.4 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases per year that would result from the same amount of electricity generated by fossil-based sources. But we can do better.

My favourite coffee mug when I'm thinking about how much I love the environment.

Learn more about this clean, safe, affordable, reliable, amazing, environmentally friendly source of energy and sustainable development.

Canadian Environment Week kicks off today and runs until the 9th.

Watch for: June 5th is World Environment Day