CNL issues RFP for construction of $370-mil lab complex

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the design, engineering and construction of its Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre (ANMRC). The $370-million nuclear research laboratory will be the backbone of CNL’s research and development infrastructure and a major facility in the delivery of its nuclear science and technology programs. The RFP is now available for review on Merx, an online tendering service.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 on ANMRC, which will be one of the largest active research facilities ever constructed in Canada, and will enable world-class research in nuclear energy, public health, environmental stewardship and global security.

“The revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories campus is designed to position CNL as a global leader in nuclear science and technology, transforming the site into a world-class and sustainable national nuclear laboratory,” said Mark Lesinski, CNL’s president and CEO, in a press release. “The ANMRC is at the centre of this transformation, and our vision for the future of the site and the nuclear industry in Canada. Once complete, the facility will serve as a state-of-the-art laboratory complex that will allow us to grow our research programs, penetrate new international markets, and add capabilities to better meet the needs of our federal, academic and commercial customers.”

The ANMRC will be the largest single capital investment in the revitalization of the Chalk River campus and will consolidate key capabilities from a variety of aging facilities that are scheduled for decommissioning. The ANMRC will feature new shielded facilities that will enable post=irradiation examination of small modular reactor (SMR) and next-generation nuclear fuels, and glovebox facilities to support the development of advanced fuel fabrication concepts. The complex will also include materials storage bays to simplify the transportation of radioactive material on site, improving work efficiency. Services provided by the ANMRC will be critical to the life extension and long-term reliability of existing reactors, including Canada’s CANDU nuclear power reactors and other designs used around the world.

Construction of the ANMRC is funded through a $1.2 billion investment from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited on behalf of the Government of Canada. The revitalization is part of a 10-year transformation of the Chalk River Laboratories site to modernize the campus. This includes the revitalization of essential site infrastructure, the decommissioning of aging buildings and a significant investment in new, world-class science facilities.

“This is an exciting time to work at the Chalk River Laboratories campus. We are in the midst of a major transformation process, which includes the construction of a number of new facilities that are critical to the future of the nuclear industry in Canada,” said Ted Preisig, vice president of capital projects at CNL. “However, no building is more important than the AMNRC, which will play a central role in the delivery of all of our science and technology products and services. This facility will serve as the foundation of our research for decades to come.”

The RFP for ANMRC is the latest move by CNL’s capital program. Last month, CNL announced it had launched the construction process for three new “enabling” facilities at its Chalk River campus, which represents more than $100 million in new infrastructure. Recently, CNL cut the ribbon on a new $55 million hydrogen laboratory complex, opened a new $100 million materials research laboratory, the Harriet Brooks Building, and is in the final stages of commissioning its new $40 million Tritium Laboratory. Over $90 million is also being invested into important infrastructure improvements, including new domestic water and natural gas service to the campus, a modern sanitary sewage treatment facility, and a system to more effectively manage storm water on the site.

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