Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, says has launched the construction process for three new facilities at its Chalk River campus, which represents more than $100 million in new infrastructure. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, on behalf of the Government of Canada, is investing more than $1.2 billion to revitalize the Chalk River Laboratories and build new, world-class science facilities.
“While renewal of our Chalk River site is already well underway, launching the construction process for three new state-of-the-art facilities is a major milestone in the realization of our Long-Term Strategy,” CNL president and CEO Mark Lesinski said in a statement. “This is clearly an exciting time for CNL and our employees, but these capital projects will also have a positive impact on our communities, as we look to local businesses and contractors to help us carry out this work.”
CNL officially launched the first Request for Proposal (RFP) late last year, the initial step in the construction of the new buildings, which include a new logistics complex, a business hub and a support facility. Together, these three facilities represent an investment of more than $100 million, which is expected to provide employment for many local trades, suppliers, and supporting businesses in the coming years. Once complete, the new buildings will serve as important “enabling” facilities for the site.
The new Business Hub will provide modern office space for approximately 400 employees, relocating business infrastructure such as the Data Centre, Library and Records Management, and the Health and Wellness Centre. Geotechnical work for this building has already been completed.
CNL’s new Support Facility will consolidate, expand and improve shop space, resulting in operational efficiencies across the campus. Currently, CNL’s manufacturing and maintenance operations are spread out among several buildings, all of which are beyond their useful life. The new building will also contain storage facilities and offices to streamline maintenance and manufacturing activities.
A new Logistics and Warehouse Building will transform the site entry point and arrival experience at the site while ensuring employees have timely access to products and services. The building will also serve as a security check point for all people and materials coming to the site, reduce vehicular traffic, and include new guardhouses, meeting rooms, and support facilities for security and warehouse employees.
Steve Innes, manager of laboratory renewal projects, said CNL is working to extend the economic benefits of these capital projects into local communities.
Last year, the company hosted an Industry Day in Pembroke, Ontario as part of a broad effort to inform local businesses on commercial opportunities within the broader site revitalization effort; as well as introducing many larger engineering and construction companies to the local supply community and townships. The event drew more than 70 contractors and companies in the construction, commissioning, trades, engineering and architectural fields. In addition, the RFP for these three new buildings challenged respondents to indicate how their approach would generate opportunities for local small and medium-sized enterprises, and indigenous communities.
“It is important to CNL that we engage the local supply chain and local businesses as much as possible when we move these projects forward,” said Innes. “Whether it is the use of local tradespeople and suppliers, accommodation and meals in the hospitality sector, or the purchase of goods and materials from local vendors, we know that CNL has an impact in our communities.”
Construction of the new facilities builds on recent and significant changes to CNL’s Chalk River campus. In 2015, CNL cut the ribbon on a brand new hydrogen laboratory complex, an investment of more than $55 million. In October of 2016, CNL opened the Harriet Brooks Building, a world-class materials science laboratory that represents an investment of more than $100 million.
And, CNL is in the final stages of commissioning its new Tritium Laboratory, an investment of more than $40 million in a facility designed to deliver important commercial services. Over $90 million has been dedicated to four major infrastructure projects which will see new domestic water and natural gas service to the campus, a modern sanitary sewage treatment facility constructed and commissioned, and a system to more effectively manage storm water on the site.
Looking ahead, design work is also underway on CNL’s Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre, one of the largest active research facilities to be constructed in Canada, enabling world-class research in the fields of nuclear energy, health, small modular reactors, and advanced fuels. The Request for Proposal for an Integrated Project Delivery team to complete this project is expected to be issued early in 2018.
“With these three buildings getting underway, coupled with the early planning and design work for the Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre, our ambitious vision for Chalk River is becoming reality,” explains Ted Preisig, Vice-President of Capital Projects at CNL. “We believe that CNL will serve as a global hub for nuclear science, home to the best and brightest, and we are revitalising the infrastructure and facilities to turn that vision into reality.”
In addition to the renewal of the campus, CNL has announced plans to hire nearly two hundred additional research staff over the next three years to accommodate the company’s anticipated growth in nuclear science and technology services. Overall, the combination of increased research staffing, organizational changes, and voluntary departures and attrition is expected to result in over 800 vacancies that CNL will need to fill over the next three years.
To learn more about CNL’s Long-Term Strategy, and revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories please visit www.cnl.ca/vendors.