AECL management contract bidding starts

10 March 2014

The Canadian government is seeking bids to manage and operate Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's (AECL's) nuclear laboratories.

Chalk River Lab site 460 (AECL)
The Chalk River Laboratory site (Image: AECL)

The announcement follows the government's February 2013 decision to involve the private sector in the management of the national nuclear laboratories. It is the second stage in the restructuring of AECL announced in 2009; the first stage saw the sale of AECL's former Candu Reactor Division to SNC-Lavalin subsidiary Candu Energy Inc in 2011.

Interested suppliers are invited to submit a request for response evaluation (RFRE) to demonstrate that they have the experience, expertise and financial capacity to manage the nuclear laboratories. Qualifying suppliers would then engage in detailed consultations with the government with a view to submitting a request for proposal (RFP). The closing date for RFRE submissions is 6 August.

AECL's nuclear laboratories employ over 3300 people across seven sites in Canada and comprise several nuclear science and technology facilities, including the 135 MWt NRU (National Research Universal) research reactor. The facilities are used for isotope production; reactor component and fuel examination; nuclear instrumentation and dosimetry services; materials and reactor-chemistry research; and training of nuclear professionals.

Announcing the launch of the RFRE process, Canada's minister of natural resources Joe Oliver said, "This is a significant step forward in implementing our plan to engage a private-sector partner in managing the nuclear laboratories." He added, "The goal remains to put in place the conditions for Canada's nuclear industry to succeed, while reducing cost and risk for Canadian taxpayers over time."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News