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United

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Overview

United is an engineering and construction company created through the divestment by AECOM of its Power Business Unit. We partner with our clients in the public and private sectors to solve their most complex challenges and build legacies for generations to come.

United’s commercial nuclear power plant engineering and design experience spans more than 70 years, from the first commercial nuclear reactor projects to intense maintenance and modifications efforts designed to keep existing nuclear fleets running and producing electricity for years to come.  As the engineer and/or constructor of 51 nuclear units that generate 41,000 MW of electricity and large-scale component replacements at 34 units, United has in-depth experience and expertise in all nuclear technologies and associated power plants. 

As new nuclear technologies emerged over the course of the history of the commercial nuclear generation industry, United has been a leading provider of the engineering and construction services required to bring them online.

United has been very actively involved in the development of Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technologies for over a decade, supporting a wide variety of SMR technologies including:

  • Light-water Reactor (LWR): Holtec SMR-160, and Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) System-integrated Modular Advanced ReacTor (SMART) Reactor
  • High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors: General Atomics (GA) Modular High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (MHTGR) and KAERI Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR)
  • Sodium-cooled Reactors: ARC-100 Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) and Areva’s Advanced Recycling Reactor (ARR)

Moreover, United’s scope of work on SMRs has covered from the initial development phase such as ROM capital investment cost estimating and the assessment of license success, constructability, and modularization, environmental impact assessment, as well as pre-conceptual design, conceptual design, and preliminary design. These wide ranging experiences put United in a unique and flexible position to collaborate with any SMR vendor to accommodate their needs.

Allied Canada Nuclear Operations (ACNO) was established as United’s nuclear service provider in Canada and provides an established nuclear quality program with experienced personnel in all aspects of the nuclear industry. ACNO provides products and services in the fields of engineering, design, drafting, construction, inspection, testing, safety analysis, start-up, operations, commissioning, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition activities for the nuclear industries. 

United commits to the “Statement of Principles” and the overall vision of the SMR Road Map. We see the value that the advancement of SMR technology presents, especially regarding providing clean, safe and affordable energy, meeting our global climate change targets, participating in the vast global market and supporting reconciliation with our indigenous partners.

With United’s long history with nuclear power globally, and specifically, in the last 10 years supporting many SMR technologies, United believes that SMRs are the next step in the nuclear journey. This evolution is essential to support the world’s needs for a clean energy solution that addresses climate change and net-zero emissions targets by 2050. Additionally, SMRs can also balance social equity by lowering energy and environmental costs to rural and remote parts of Canada and the world; where this is currently difficult for a variety of reasons. We take great pride in being at the vanguard of new innovations in technology and infrastructure (which enhance social well-being and supports Environmentally Sustainable Governance (ESG) principles and practices).

United provides support to SMR technology vendors in all aspects of bringing their designs from concept to market and can then provide the full nuclear life cycle support as an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) vendor. Engrained in all projects is our focus on social strategies to enhance public and community awareness, understanding and ultimately willingness to host a prospective SMR facility and nuclear waste management facilities.

We have provided, and can provide the following services for SMR Vendors in multiple geographies under different geological circumstances:

  • Engineering / Design Services, Architect / Engineer (A/E) services
  • Constructability Analysis / Assessments and Modularization assessments
  • Environmental Assessments and Siting Assessments
  • Social & Indigenous Engagement
  • Economic analyses (Levelized Cost of Electricity and other economic benefits)
  • Cost Estimating, Schedule Development, Construction and Maintenance

We believe Canada is in a unique position to be the world leader in the development and deployment of SMR technology.  Our vision is to see the first SMRs being built in Canada – at Darlington, at Chalk River, and in remote communities and mining communities.  With this first-mover status, and with government financial support to the early technology providers, Canada will be able to ensure a robust nuclear supply chain that can support even more development within Canada, but also lead in export markets.

Critical to the success of SMRs in Canada include: widespread awareness and understanding of the risks/costs/benefits of SMR facilities, community involvement in the assessment and implementation of SMR facility developments, demonstration of community willingness to host a SMR facility, and deployment of SMR facilities and technologies that are a meaningful component of Canada’s energy strategy.

United has worked with many SMR technology developers over the last 10 years – in Canada, the US and globally, and is open to all partnering models that make sense. As per the SMR Road Map, United plans to work with government and other partners to construct at least one demonstration SMR in Canada by 2026 and the first-commercial SMR deployed by 2030.

ACTIONS

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Services to SMR Vendors
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
UEC01

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 01, 02, 16, 17, 26, 28, 38, 40

ACTION

United is currently engaged with multiple SMR vendors in Canada and internationally supporting a wide variety of SMR technologies.

United intends to provide quality services to these partners and future partners to ensure success for these partners and the pan-Canadian SMR roadmap initiative.

EXPECTED RESULTS

The following are expected as a result of continued work with SMR vendors:

  1. At least one SMR demonstration constructed and in operation by 2026 in Canada
  2. First-commercial SMR deployed by 2030

Social strategies to enhance public and community awareness, understanding and ultimately willingness to host a prospective SMR facility.

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Long-term Irradiated Waste Management Solutions
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
UEC02

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 3, 30, 45

ACTION

As United is involved in the full nuclear life cycle, we plan to continue to engage on long-term irradiated waste storage projects by working with Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and other partners on the following initiatives:

  1. Current and future waste management facilities and storage sites
  2. Planning and awareness of the eventual deep geological repository (DGR)

SMR waste stream planning and operations support.

EXPECTED RESULTS

The following are expected as a result of continued work on waste management facilities:

  1. Support NWMO’s mandate of the development of clear strategies of all types of nuclear waste streams produced by the SMR sector
  2. Social strategies to enhance public and community awareness, understanding and ultimately willingness to host a prospective nuclear waste management facility.
INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND MARKETS
Engagement with Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB)
STATUS: UPCOMING
UEC03

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 1, 2, 38, 40, 41, 47

ACTION

Provide our SMR vendor partners and other partners services related to building technical and business plans and propositions targeted to obtaining funding and support through the CIB, including:

  1. SMR project concept technical project plans;
  2. Business planning, project development funding planning and projections

Assisting with developing value propositions and proposals.

EXPECTED RESULTS

As a result of this effort, United expects to:

  1. Support SMR Vendor Demonstration Project Development Plan and applications to CIB to receive project funding and development support.
  2. Expand our national and local workforces to deliver EPC project support to our SMR vendors and other partners
  3. Contribute to the development of Canada’s first demonstration SMR by 2026

Contribute to the development of Canada’s first -commercial SMR deployed by 2030.

POLICY, LEGISLATION, AND REGULATION
Continued Engagement with Provincial and Federal Partners
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
UEC04

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 4, 7, 23

ACTION

United plans to continue to engage with our federal and provincial partners:

  1. To ensure the pan-Canadian SMR industry secures adequate cost and risk sharing.
  2. On relevant policy, legislation and regulation

EXPECTED RESULTS

Continued industry engagement with Federal and Provincial partners through direct advocacy, government-industry associations and forums will contribute to the successful growth of the SMR industry in Canada.

Engagement will advocate for and support cost-sharing in development and deployment of SMR demonstration reactors.

Ongoing engagement on relevant policy legislation and regulation will advocate for and advise on streamlining and alignment of regulations to technical issues and to improve regulatory efficiency.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Promoting Diversity in Future SMR workforce
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
UEC05

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 39, 49

ACTION

United is hiring and promoting employees of diversity. We are committed to greater diversity in all United ranks and roles. This corporate commitment also applies to our future SMR workforce. Diversity of our work force in Canada is in our DNA and this diversity is what adds strength to our skills and capabilities.

Additionally, United intends to grow our workforce, specifically in the SMR industry, in key markets where SMR development is occurring. Diversity will be a key consideration in this growth strategy and participating the Equal by 30 campaign will be one of the ways United will contribute.

EXPECTED RESULTS

From this growth strategy, United expects the following results:

  1. A fully diversified United workforce that annually measured and reported as part of our KPIs.
  2. Where appropriate and feasible United will increase our workforce and capability through the establishment of local engineering offices.
CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Engagement and Partnership with Indigenous Communities
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
UEC06

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 10, 11, 12, 19, 24, 43

ACTION

To work with clients to develop a social strategy that fosters public awareness and understanding of the risks/costs/benefits of SMR technologies and facilities.

Complete our Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Certification offered by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, and look for opportunities to engage indigenous peoples and business in all areas of United’s work.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Enhanced public awareness and understanding of the risk/cost/benefits of SMR facilities all leading to increased potential for Indigenous partnerships in the deployment of SMRs.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Representation and Engagement with Nuclear Associations in Canada
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
UEC07

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 05, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36

ACTION

United intends to continue to encourage and fund staff participation in nuclear associations, including but not limited to:

  1. Canadian Nuclear Association
  2. Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries
  3. Canadian Nuclear Society
  4. CANDU Owners Group.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Demonstrate active participation in the various nuclear associations to advance the development of SMRs in the Canadian market.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Engagement with Canadian Universities/Colleges on SMRs
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
UEC08

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 39, 48, 49, 50

ACTION

In developing the pan-Canadian approach United intends to attract top next-generation talent into the Canadian Nuclear sector in several ways, including:

  1. Speak at university conferences and provide representation at recruiting events
  2. Hire new employees specifically for SMR development roles.

EXPECTED RESULTS

The following are expected by engaging with Canadian universities/colleges:

  1. Create interest in research on SMRs to advance the industry
  2. Excite the next generation to pursue a career in nuclear energy
  3. Hire new employees to grow our SMR portfolio
  4. A fully diversified United workforce
INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND MARKETS
Develop International Partners for SMR development in Canada
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
UEC09

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 14, 15, 25, 28, 34

ACTION

Using our network with international divisions of United and other international organizations, United will work with these partners to:

  1. Share knowledge about the SMR market in Canada
  2. Learn best practices of SMR development in jurisdictions around the world.

EXPECTED RESULTS

The following are the expected results as a result of our collaborations:

  1. Build project experience and successful project delivery of Canadian SMRs
  2. Learn best practices in other countries/jurisdictions
  3. Help Canada develop and be part of a global supply chain supporting SMRs.