Main page content
- Endorsement date: December 18, 2020
- Organization: SNC-Lavalin
SNC-Lavalin is engaging Canada’s prominent nuclear engineering, supplier and construction community to bring together a truly Team Canada approach to deploy the CANDU® Small Modular Reactor (CSMR™). Through the construct of a Public-Private Enterprise, we can support Canada’s SMR roadmap by building a grid-scale SMR that is online before the end of the decade.
This partnership approach will employ Canada’s own scientists, universities, laboratories, utilities, engineering firms, manufacturers and construction companies to deliver an all Canadian SMR to start powering the country in 2028. Based on proven Canadian reactor technology with over 75 years of safe operations, the CSMR project will play a significant role in helping Canada achieve NetZero by 2050.
Proudly made in Canada
Canada already has an impressive CANDU supply chain that draws on the technical expertise of hundreds of sophisticated Canadian companies whose products and services are specifically designed to support this domestically-developed technology. While the CSMR is an updated design that is smaller, simpler and has a modular design, it relies on many of the same components which our Canadian suppliers have invested thousands of hours to research, develop, test and perfect for use in the currently operating CANDU units that safely and reliably provide 15% of Canada’s energy today. The CSMR will ensure sustainability for these hundreds of companies who have been serving the Canadian nuclear market for decades with exceptional quality. Moreover, with new innovations in digital controls, robotics and modularization, the CSMR opens new opportunities for non-nuclear Canadian suppliers.
The CSMR is the only SMR technology to use natural, unenriched uranium. This allows the fuel to be sourced from our highly productive mines in Saskatchewan and be processed in Canada, avoiding the need for shipments of enriched uranium fuel into and across Canada.
To ensure viability of Canada’s overall nuclear industry it is vital that the country’s first new SMR deployments demonstrate our ability to achieve cost and schedule targets. Costs and schedules can be influenced by external factors including licensing uncertainty, fuel supply, waste management concerns and environmental assessments. Unlike the alternatives, the CSMR is a ready-now technology with reactor physics and safety systems that are very familiar to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
Ontario Power Generation’s environmental assessment for the CSMR demonstration site is already complete. Used fuel from the CANDU SMR is compliant with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) plans and unlike all other SMR contenders, faces no new licensing or waste challenges that have not already been solved by Canadians. The CSMR requires minimal retooling or retraining by the supply chain which means more a rapid deployment and quicker ramp-up than a new technology would require. Finally, SNC-Lavalin has built its last seven CANDU reactors on budget and on schedule.
In order to achieve its climate targets, Canada needs to create abundant green energy sources, and needs to do it quickly. In order for Canadians to include SMRs as part of our solution, it is vital that Canadians see that this can be done safely, with demonstrated reliability and that it can be done on time and on budget.
Dating back to the 1950s, SNC-Lavalin has a long history of working with Indigenous communities across every region of the country. A long-standing member of the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB), the company recently strengthened its approach in 2019 by joining the CCAB’s Progressive Aboriginal Relations Program (PAR). This best-in-class program commits SNC-Lavalin to work with indigenous interests across Canada to create strengthened economic cultural and economic partnerships that preserve and strengthen indigenous communities.
SNC-Lavalin and its Team Canada partners, represent a highly diverse group including prominent female leaders, Indigenous peoples and team members from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.
The CSMR has incredible fuel flexibility: it can run on natural unenriched uranium, recycled fuel from light water reactors and even thorium. Thus, CSMR unlocks the possibility for other countries to also become entirely energy independent. Further, because of its proven CANDU heritage, the CSMR has the unique potential among its competitors to create useful medical isotopes. These features, combined with CANDU’s proven track record of safety and reliability make CSMR reactors highly desirable internationally. Several international utilities, governments and investors have already expressed interest. As part of SNC-Lavalin’s commitment to the SMR roadmap, we are promoting a Team Canada approach to international sales and envision these benefits to be shared with Canadian suppliers and ultimately to all Canadian taxpayers through our Team Canada construct.
Sustainability of Canada’s Enviable Nuclear Industry
CANDU technology was developed by Canadians, for Canadians, over 75 years ago. This innovation has been heralded as a top 10 engineering achievement ever in Canada. CANDU reactors have continued to be competitive in the global commercial marketplace owing to the advanced reactor core design which allows for use of flexible fuel types and signature online refuelling capability. CSMR is the next evolution of Canadian innovation, marrying proven safety and reliability with modern digital advancements, modular construction methods and advanced automation.
The Team Canada partners who are coming together to deploy the CSMR will ensure well-paying high technology jobs in Canada exist now and for the future of Canada’s nuclear energy industry. This not only supports CSMR deployment, but ensures that Canada’s engineers, scientists, suppliers and constructors are prepared to support other Canadian nuclear technologies and innovations that will be ready to deploy in the 2030’s and beyond.
Summary and Commitment
SNC-Lavalin and its Team Canada partners fully endorse the Statement of Principles. We are committed to Canada’s NetZero climate targets and believe that by taking action on the SMR roadmap we can achieve maximum benefit to the Canadian economy, to Indigenous peoples in Canada, and to the environment.
DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Strategic Partners and Business Models
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 1, 2, 13, 15, 16, 17, 34, 38, 40, 41, 42, 46, 47
Create Public-Private Enterprise made up of many Canadian companies, a utility owner and government to design, manufacture and construct the first and subsequent CSMRs. We will:
- Involve talented Canadian and Indigenous companies including engineering firms, component manufacturers and constructors alongside utility owner-operators and government entities.
- Align all partners’ interests with overall project success and not individual interests.
- Collaboratively design, manufacture and construct the first and future units of a fleet design.
- Leverage investment from federal government, provincial government and private sector
- Best Canadian talent is pooled from all companies to work together on the first grid-scale SMR deployment
- Risk is shared with government, unlocking access to private investment capital
- Benefits of research and development investments are returned to Canadian taxpayers
- Sustainable, long-term high-technology jobs for Canadians are created
- Overall industry capability to design, plan and execute highly complex nuclear infrastructure projects is advanced– positioning the Canadian nuclear industry to compete on a global stage
- Opportunity is created to repeat projects at other domestic and international sites through the same organization, maximizing opportunities to capitalize on lessons learned, improvements and cost/schedule efficiencies.
- Canada is positioned to compete with state-owned entities in other countries.
- Capacity is built amongst the next generation of nuclear industry professionals through direct experience in execution of a nuclear new build project.
CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Promoting Diversity in the future SMR workforce
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 39
Consistent with SNC-Lavalin’s commitments to global sustainability and the Progressive Aboriginal Relations Program (run through the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business), the company will develop Indigenous training modules for all Canadian employees, increase the number of indigenous employees and create new indigenous economic opportunities throughout the nuclear supply chain. Furthermore, SNC-Lavalin will consult with First Nations communities in a manner that supports its corporate indigenous engagement statement and policy.
While the PAR program will guide the company’s contributions to indigenous economic development, it’s also important to note the Indigenous partnerships through the nuclear supply chain will contribute to sustainability through the CSMR fuel solution – the utilization of natural unenriched uranium mining by indigenous businesses in Canada.
Greater knowledge and awareness for Indigenous communities with regard to the benefits of working as an equal partner within the SMR sector.
An effective and successful long- term economic development strategy to support safety, education and training, as a result of extensive consultations with indigenous communities
New indigenous recruitment strategy that will strengthen connections between SNC-Lavalin, Indigenous communities and post-secondary institutions and educators.
A much stronger ability to support the principles of economic and social reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities across Canada, through the completion of Indigenous training modules by every Canadian SNC-Lavalin employee
POLICY, LEGISLATION AND REGULATION
Fuel Supply Security
Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 8, 30, 45
Design SMR that allows for use of natural unenriched uranium fuel that is already in production and licensed for use in Canada
- Fuel supply security and energy independence for Canada
- Increased business for existing Canadian fuel suppliers without need for any retooling or investment by them.
- NWMO challenge is simplified by using same fuel type; will allow them to continue plans already underway to safety disposition spent fuel in Canada
- Elimination of extra costs for NWMO to design alternate storage types for different fuel types.
CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Indigenous engagement, representation and economic opportunities
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 10, 11, 12, 13, 19, 39, 43
Indigenous communities, businesses and people will be core to the success of any future large resource and power generation build. The future of SMR development in Canada will need to ensure that Indigenous peoples view themselves as our as partners.
This Action highlights key principles and drivers which SNC-Lavalin sees as essential in providing long term value added engagement principles, representation and economic opportunities.
To create a foundational relationship from which we can build long term partnership, and secure support for SMR development in Canada, the SNC-Lavalin team will proactively engage with Indigenous communities, businesses and people.
We will build upon and we will work closely with NRCan, the CNSC and the provincial regulators and build upon ongoing engagement
Our focus will be both ensuring a national engagement strategy is developed to share and obtain input and knowledge with key and impacted Indigenous communities, and also with those Indigenous governments who have an interest in the project.
We will ensure those who are local to potential future builds are brought in very early to build knowledge, exchange ideas and discuss shared objectives.
Our engagement plans will focus on tried and true principles already used throughout Canada (including the uranium mining industry long history of success); we will incorporate leading-edge communication channels, as well as traditional Indigenous practices.
These principles include using Indigenous languages, building technical groups to simplify complex terms, hearing youth, listening to elders, and providing timely feedback on questions.
We will work with our partner, the Des Nedhe Group (an English River First Nation company), and build upon their community and businesses 30 year history of engagement with the uranium mines in northern Saskatchewan. A nation-to-nation dialogue can occur with other Indigenous communities to spur a discussion around the impacts of the industry.
As we move closer to project builds, we will ensure that all local (Duty to Consult) Indigenous Rights Holders understand our proactive and progressive Environmental Leadership practices. We understand that Indigenous communities support development of these projects when they are part of the environmental stewardships practices. Our practices will ensure local Indigenous communities:
- Understand the environmental practices and benefits of SMRs
- Are part of ongoing monitoring during the life of the project
- Are a key partner in the reclamation, decommissioning and closing of the SMR to return the land back to its original state.
Through our engagement efforts during the pre-design and construction period, SNC-Lavalin will create a long term workforce development strategy which matches the needs for construction and operations of the CSMR, and at the same time support community skills development. Workforce development is built upon education, training (both pre-employment and on the job), and employment opportunities. We will:
- Establish metrics which support long term growth of Indigenous employment throughout the project life.
- Design a skills matrix with education requirements for each position required in construction and operations of CSMR facilities
- Engage with local Indigenous communities on assessment of community skills
- Build training programs with local post secondary educators to “upskill” and provide certification to job seekers
- Ensure promotion of education in the long term to support jobs in the nuclear industry
- Support and be flexible on scholarships
- Promote and support a vibrant apprenticeship and trades program
- Promote lifelong learning through site-based adult learning.
Indigenous communities need own source revenue and further employment to support their goals of self-determination. SNC-Lavalin will support a diverse supply chain which includes Indigenous business. We will:
- Set metrics to drive Indigenous business upwards over life of project
- Ensure contract opportunities match capacity of local businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Create opportunities packages and workshops so local communities can be better prepared.
- Ensure business benefits are actually flowing to communities and not non-Indigenous business partners under false JV arrangements
Revenue-Sharing/ Equity/ Community Investment
Indigenous communities want to be true partners. We must be ready to provide local and national partners the opportunity to benefit from equity participation or some form of revenue sharing. This will ensure support for the CSMR project and also support Indigenous communities’ path toward self determination. We will:
- Begin discussions early on what they would like to see; not all communities want the risk of equity participation.
- Build community investment plans on sponsorships and donations, in cooperation with community input.
- Better understanding and knowledge about SMR technology.
- Duty to Consult, built upon the government’s mandate
- Long term partnerships within the SMR industry through the creation of foundation relationships with key Indigenous groups
- Support secured from Indigenous communities
- Indigenous communities are part of the environmental discussions at each key period.
- Indigenous viewpoints and traditional knowledge are incorporated within project design and operations.
- Increased employment of Indigenous people in the SMR industry through a long term plan
- Promotion of education and training.
- Strong Indigenous businesses through participation in the CSMR supply chain
- Investments and benefits that are directed to areas most important to Indigenous communities.