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- Endorsement date: December 18, 2020
- Organization: Aecon Nuclear, a Division of Aecon Construction Group Inc.
We are an industry leader
Aecon is Canada's largest nuclear constructor currently employing 2000+ highly skilled workforce. As an industry leader with 50 years of the successful history of building nuclear infrastructure, 413 approved Canadian supplier base, and 300+ qualified nuclear procedures, we are well-positioned for the development and construction of the Small Modular Reactor (SMR). Aecon's reputation for reliability, safety, and performance has made us a preferred Canadian top-tier contractor and a partner of choice. We offer an unparalleled depth of expertise and a comprehensive capability that can be called upon to deliver an integrated solution to virtually any construction challenge.
Over the years, Aecon has kept pace with the increasingly challenging industry demands – the need for more capacity, higher efficiency, top-notch quality, and innovation for the nuclear refurbishment program. Successful completion of Ontario Power Generation's (OPG's) Darlington unit #2 demonstrates Aecon's mission-critical projects' capabilities. Aecon continues to remain a top contributor to the success of the overall refurbishment program in Ontario through our involvement with future reactors overhaul, turbine generator overhaul, steam generators replacement, and many other related projects. Nuclear refurbishment is a large and complex construction endeavor. Aecon continues to play a critical role in making tools safer, fabricating complex nuclear components, implementing innovations, investing in training, and executing the work. And we do it all within a zero-injury culture that puts Safety First. We plan to leverage the resources, expertise, and supply chain partners cultivated through the refurbishment of the SMR program's success in Canada.
Aecon brings a broad range of services and seamless solutions from engineered module fabrication, greenfield site development, heavy civil structure, reactor internals installation, and Balance of Plant (BoP) construction. Client achievements are at the heart of the Aecon story. Aecon's predecessor played a vital role in the success of CANDU construction in Canada and internationally. In line with our motto of "building things that matter," Aecon is looking to continue the legacy with Canada's SMR construction and fabrication. There isn't a more diverse nuclear construction company in Canada with 363,000SF of fabrication shop space that can offer all aspects of SMR construction from shaft sinking to heavy civil construction, from fabrication to the nuclear island construction, all under one roof.
Aecon strongly supports SMR development in Canada and its vision to take a leading role on the globally. The successful completion of OPG Darlington Unit#2 overhaul demonstrates Canadian nuclear supply chain robustness. Aecon's nuclear skills and expertise cultivated through the refurbishment program offer a distinctive edge to Canada's SMR program. Combined with the robust supply chain, public, and government support, Canada provides a fertile ground to the SMR development like no other. As depicted in the SMR roadmap, strategic partnerships across the sector and internationally are essential to the success of SMR development. Partnership with OEMs, suppliers, unions, customer, local and indigenous communities is the cornerstone of Aecon projects across Canada. Aecon partnerships that can readily add value to the Candian SMR program are as follows.
- 413 Candian approved suppliers for Nuclear. 61 vendors from the indigenous community with $54M spent in the last five years
- Three active indigenous Joint ventures subsidiaries
- Top-level engagement of nuclear utilities for their refurbishment program
- Robust relationships with trades unions
- $1M+ annual donations to the communities that we are working in.
- 8000+ engage workforce who is making client expectations reality every day
Our SMR task team continues to work with various stakeholders in helping them progress from concept to construction. Following the completion of Darlington refurbishment, it is crucial to have an SMR fleet construction in the domestic and international markets to ensure the utilization of the trained workforce in post-refurbishment.
Our value propositions in alignment with SMR Roadmap are as follows:
- A firm commitment from Aecon's executive leadership to the support SMR program
- Successful track-record of the projects within the power generation, mining, and remote communities.
- Ability to optimize a practical technical and minimalist risk approach based on past experiences, proven plans and lessons learned will deliver the best value to SMR development
- Our existing 2000+ best-in-class resource with recent and relevant experience
- Extensive construction experience of the heavy civil structure, shaft sinking, and nuclear installations and new build fabrication
- A proven project management approach and associated procedures and systems that are used to manage over $3.5 Billion in projects annually successfully
- A track record of continuous performance improvement throughout previous and ongoing large nuclear programs and unparalleled history of nuclear knowledge and experience
- Strong financials coupled with our reputation for tenacity in managing projects to a successful conclusion
- Aecon's focus on health and safety is shown through our training programs, work plans and demonstrated through our recent achievement of Aecon Nuclear 3,000,000 hours LTI free.
- Established relationships with the local trade unions and proven Ability to manage complex projects
DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 38, 47
- SMR Task Team: A team of experts for each of the critical scope of work for the SMR project development: Aecon has been actively working to establish an internal task team that is made of experts from the various disciplines that includes Project Management, Heavy Civil Construction, Nuclear Construction, Site Development, Underground Construction, Planning, and Estimating. The purpose of the task teams is to provide support resources to external stakeholders, including SMR OEMs, as they are working on a detailed design and licensing process. Due to its first of a kind nature, it is imperative to have a robust risk mitigation plan, including possible project demonstration for high-quality estimates. Aecon is already working with SMR OEMs at the initial stage and looking to continue to support their detailed design, project demonstration, risk-mitigation, modularization, and supply chain development efforts.
- Most Relevant and Recent Lessons Learned and Risk Mitigation: Aecon is not only the largest Canadian nuclear construction company in Canada but also the only company who has successfully executed significant projects in the last five years that includes nuclear grade seismically qualified heavy civil construction, underground construction, complex electrical, mechanical systems, safety class nuclear components and modules fabrication and installing nuclear core components, all under one roof. We are consolidating our already comprehensive lessons learned database directly applicable to the SMR detailed design and construction. Through our partnership with various SMR OEMs, we intend to share this invaluable and latest lessons learned database and deploy the experienced resources that will help to derisk the project implementation while increasing and cost and schedule accuracy .
- Efficiency Improvement: One of the lessons learned from the previous nuclear new-build is to minimize the schedule delay associated with transforming the design into construction work packages and field instructions that is easily accessible by the site and information like field RFIs, change requests, inspection test reports, engineering hold points, earned-value reporting, should be seamlessly integrated with a centralized database to eliminate the paper trail, chances of errors and delay in approval. After two years of investigations, trials, and customization for the nuclear industry, Aecon has implemented robust electronic solutions that can serve the project from concept to commissioning, all paperless. Aecon has already implemented the tool to a real-life large nuclear construction project where project management and design staff are seamlessly integrated with site staff. Site staff has access to electronic work packages and drawings all on the tablet. The RFIs, inspection reports, earned-value reports, and hold point sign-off requests can be uploaded through the tablet and reviewed and approved by respective stakeholders all paperless. As with any project, the challenge is to effectively manage many versions of documents and reducing the time to fix the issues caused by manual errors. Aecon already has a working tool that will provide all necessary information at the fingertip and save millions for the SMR project development.
- Maximizing Canadian Content
- Comprehensive and latest lessons learned database combined with experience resources to support Cost and schedule certainty as the SMR OEMs progressed through the detailed design
- Development of a robust risk management plan that is supported by the latest lessons learned developed by the resources that have the most recent and relevant experience
- Project demonstration strategy development to mitigate First-of-a-kind (FoaK) risks
- Adopting innovations and newer technologies for improving efficiencies
CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Skills and Resources Mapping and Broader Participation for the SMR Development
Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 39, 43, 47
- Resourcing Mapping: Aecon currently has 1500+ resources deployed in nuclear projects in Canada, the highest in the industry. We plan to collaborate with stakeholders for the resource mapping based on the skills and timing of refurbishment vs. anticipated SMR construction. The resource mapping tool will identify the skill gap early. Aecon will work collaboratively with stakeholders, including academia, labour unions, and industry associations, for a collective plan to ensure adequate experienced resource availability for SMR development.
- Supply Chain Development for Maximizing the Canadian Content: Aecon manages 413 Canadian supplies on our ASL that regularly supplies material and services for our Nuclear projects. We plan to work with SMR OEMs to identify Supply Chain Gap that and collaborate with the stakeholders for the supply chain development to maximize the contribution from the Canadian suppliers.
Indigenous Engagement: Aecon is dedicated to a comprehensive, collaborative, Canada-wide approach to Indigenous engagement. Aecon's Indigenous Strategy supports the inclusion, engagement, and participation of Indigenous communities by:
- Acting as a responsible and respectful business partner
- Working side by side with community leaders and members
- Creating and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships
- Aecon is dedicated to a collaborative and inclusive approach and has experience working with many across Canada
Aecon has already built multiple Joint Ventures with Indigenous Nations and are as follows.
- Chipewyan Prairie-Aecon Joint Venture (CPAJV), Alberta:
Chipewyan Prairie Aecon JV is a multi-trade solution for industrial construction and maintenance
- Enoch-Aecon Joint Venture (EAJV), Alberta:
The Enoch Aecon JV brings an Indigenous-led solution for multi-trade industrial construction projects in Alberta's Industrial Heartland
- Aecon Six Nations (A6N), Ontario:
Aecon-Six Nations (A6N) is a successful joint venture between Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and Aecon. A6N is already providing services to Nuclear projects, and we plan to enhance the scope for A6N for the future SMR project
Diversity and Inclusion: Aecon's Diversity & Inclusion Council (made up of both leadership and employees) guides and champions our efforts to build diverse and inclusive workplaces for all. It informs our collective efforts to bring lasting, meaningful change to the biases that still sometimes limit our industry and those within it. Women continue to be disproportionately underrepresented in our industry, particularly in engineering, technical, and trade roles. Aecon is committed to changing this.
Innovative programs like Aecon Women in Trades create and expand opportunities for women to enter careers in our industry. Initiatives such as aWIN help them build thriving, successful careers once they do. Our aWIN community, including many of our senior female leaders, are passionate community ambassadors, visiting local schools, sponsoring and participating in community events, and attending speaking engagements that encourage girls and young women to pursue interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and trades. We plan to showcase the life-long opportunity that is in front of Canada to build the first SMR and take a global leadership role for this thriving industry where women can be a big part of success through their STEM career.
As part of the SMR project development in Canada, Aecon is anticipating working in collaboration with stakeholders, including OEMs, customers, local communities, supplychain, indigenous nations, labour unions, industry associations, academia, government to ensure support and participation.
INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND MARKETS
Collaboration With Stakeholders
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 38
- Leveraging North American Presence and Experience for the Best Possible Outcome: Aecon acquired Wachs Technical Services, South Carolina USA in 2019, who played a significant role in the on-site welding / construction of the AP1000 plant at Vogtle. At a peak, Wachs qualified, trained, and supplied and managed 450 welders at the Vogtle site. Through our presence in the USA, Aecon is engaged with commercial SMR OEMs and the Department of Defence Micro Modular Reactor (MMR) OEMs. Aecon would like to leverage our robust quality program for the Canadian (CSA N285 / N286) and USA (N-stamp), providing comprehensive one-stop-shop services to the SMR /MMR market in North America.
Maximizing the local content while comply with respective quality standards and local resources to support SMR/MMR OEMs for their project development efforts in the USA and Canada.