Chalk River laboratory request for proposals issued

20 March 2018

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the design and construction of a CAD370 million (USD283 million) laboratory research complex that will be the largest single capital investment in the CAD1.2 billion revitalisation of its Chalk River site.

The ANMRC is central to CNL's vision for Chalk River (Image: CNL)

The Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre (ANMRC) will consolidate key capabilities from a number of ageing facilities that are scheduled for decommissioning and will provide services critical to the life extension and long-term reliability of existing reactors, CNL said. It will include new shielded facilities for post-irradiation examination of small modular reactor (SMR) and next-generation nuclear fuels; glovebox facilities to support the development of advanced fuel fabrication concepts; and materials storage bays that will simplify the on-site transportation of radioactive materials, improving work efficiency at the Ontario campus.

With construction scheduled to start in 2019, the ANMRC will be one of the largest active research facilities ever to be constructed in Canada and, according to CNL president and CEO Mark Lesinski, will be at the centre of the transformation of Chalk River.

"Once complete, the facility will serve as a state-of-the-art laboratory complex that will allow us to grow our research programmes, penetrate new international markets and add capabilities to better meet the needs of our federal, academic and commercial customers," he said.

Chalk River Laboratories is home to the National Research Universal reactor, which is due to close down later this month after 60 years of operations. CNL in April 2017 unveiled a ten-year strategy for the site after the closure of the reactor, consolidating and modernising it to support federal and industrial nuclear research needs.

CNL has a long-term term vision of Chalk River as a hub for SMRs, and plans to site a prototype or demonstration SMR at the site by 2026. The organisation's 2017 request for expressions of interest in SMRs received 80 responses, including 19 expressions of interest in building a prototype or demonstration reactor at a CNL site.

CNL in February launched the construction of three new 'enabling' facilities at the site: a new logistics complex, business hub and manufacturing and maintenance support facility, together representing an investment of more than CAD100 million. It has also opened a new CAD-55 million hydrogen laboratory complex and a CAD-100 million materials research laboratory, and is in the final stages of commissioning a new CAD40 million tritium laboratory. Over CAD90 million is also being invested in on-site infrastructure improvements.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News