Speaking to delegates at the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) Annual General Meeting in Ottawa, AECL President & CEO, Hugh MacDiarmid, explained how AECL was working with Canadian manufacturers to ensure suppliers are ready for future CANDU reactor builds.
"The ACR is Canada's newest version of our highly successful CANDU power reactor and will be our premier offering to the domestic and international marketplace", said Mr. MacDiarmid. "To date, AECL has invested more than $500 million to bring us to this point, and now we're working closely with our suppliers to help validate and finalize the ACR design."
MacDiarmid cited a recent Conference Board of Canada study that estimates if AECL and its Team CANDU partners were to build four reactors here in Canada and a further eight internationally, it would generate close to 500,000 person-years of new jobs for Canadians.
"Canada's CANDU nuclear industry is creating much needed work for our manufacturing sector," added MacDiarmid, "and the millions of dollars in work we have committed to suppliers to date is just the tip of the iceberg as it will increase dramatically with global CANDU reactor sales."
According to MacDiarmid, Canada's manufacturing and construction industries have a tremendous opportunity to benefit from the global nuclear revitalization: "This is about thousands of highly skilled, well paying, long-term jobs, and in these economic times, we need to uncover opportunities for Canada's workforce."
The CANDU qualified manufacturers working on the ACR-1000 component qualification include Nu-Tech Precision Metals of Arnprior, Ontario, who will manufacture a series of seamless CANDU calandria tubes and B.C. Instruments of Schomberg, Ontario, who are producing feeder connections. These, and other suppliers including Sulzer Pumps Canada Inc. of Burnaby, B.C., and Contro Valve Inc. of Brossard, Quebec, join AECL's growing supply chain of almost 700 companies, including the 120 members of the Organization of CANDU Industries.
These CANDU qualified suppliers are ready for the resurgence of the CANDU nuclear industry.
"This initial work on the ACR-1000 has helped to secure many more months of work for the thousands of Canadian workers employed by these suppliers," says MacDiarmid, "proving that we are on the threshold of a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Canada's manufacturing and construction sectors."
AECL is finalizing details for an additional $10 million in component qualification contracts to be awarded to Canadian manufacturers.