Striking Nuclear Engineers and Scientists Picket at Bruce Power and OPG Nuclear Plants

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Striking Nuclear Engineers and Scientists Picket at Bruce Power and OPG Nuclear Plants

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The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) is holding an information picket this morning in front of Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation nuclear facilities to warn that critical technical expertise may not be available to support their long term operations.

"Ontario's nuclear operators are facing a potentially serious situation and must call on SNC-Lavalin to settle this labor dispute," said Peter White, President of SPEA. "The longer this strike drags on, the more skilled and talented employees will leave the company in search of employment where they are appreciated."

Since the federal government sold Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) last year to SNC-Lavalin hundreds of highly skilled engineers, scientists and technicians have left the company. For a high technology company like Candu Energy, this brain drain poses significant risks to the company's long-term viability.

White pointed out that, "Candu Energy has design authority for all CANDU plants and would be called upon in the event of an emergency, such as the one at Fukushima, to help solve any critical issues. Without experienced professional expertise available, you might not be able to fulfill that responsibility."

"Candu Energy has been one of the few bright spots for SNC-Lavalin, which has been struggling with poor performance, leadership issues and assorted allegations of financial wrongdoing," said White. "We still believe that CANDU is the best technology and we want to see it grow and thrive. SNC-Lavalin is holding us back and risking the future of CANDU by insisting on an unreasonable array of concessions."

White calls upon newly appointed CEO, Robert Card to direct his management team to change course, settle this strike and treat nuclear professionals with the respect they deserve.

About SPEA

The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) represents engineers, scientists, technologists and trades people who collectively represent the majority of Canada's nuclear power design expertise employed by Candu Energy Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin International. The Federal Government sold off the commercial business of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to SNC-Lavalin International, in a deal which closed in October of 2011.


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  • Again the SPEA Exec are not paying attention to the details... Mr. Card doesn't assume the role of CEO until October 1st.

  • Nuclear energy workers deserve what is asked at bargaining... these people are controlling our province with reliable baseload that is much needed for our future.

  • support  CANDU Technology!  support SPEA !

  • Peter White needs to know the difference about Design Authority and Design Agent.  We are the OEM but Candu is design agent when assigned the design work and does not have design authority.  Stop overblowing your horn.  The arrogance is so apparent in the statements.

  • Thank you SPEA for fighting for the industry......

  • Thank you SPEA from OHG Pickering

  • The technology is working but a dead end.  No one will ever build one of these dinosaurs again.  One will soon be able to build a 350MWe plant which will be easier to operate and much less cost for labor than seen at the CANDU plants.  Evolve or perish.  

  • CANDU are NOT the design authority anymore for the commercial plants, the operators are. Mis-truths like this damage the credibility of other claims that may be legit. I also think the statement overestimates the importance of AECL's role in a Fukushima type situation. The operating experience with respect to the behavior of the units trumps the knowledge AECL'S engineers posess. The designers of the Canadian commercial plants have long since retired. The current engineer's knowledge of new designs are of no use to the operators.

  • Can you please tell your management to remove the following false statements on

    Candu Energy Inc. (Candu) is a leading full-service nuclear technology company providing nuclear power reactors and nuclear products and services to customers worldwide.

    Our 1,400 highly skilled employees design and deliver state-of-the-art CANDU® reactors, carry out life extension projects, provide plant life management programs and tools, and offer operation and maintenance services for existing nuclear power stations.

    CANDU® reactors supply approximately 50 per cent of Ontario’s electricity and 16 per cent of Canada’s overall electricity requirements. Internationally, they are an important component of clean air energy programs on four continents with over 22,000 megawatts of installed capacity. Candu develops products to deliver safe, reliable, affordable and CO2-free energy with a view to the future, while meeting the global nuclear industry’s highest safety and regulatory standards.

  • Read carefully.  The argument is about the Design Authority.  Nothing wrong with the above statements - no where there is a claim made to have Design Authority for the plants.

  • Does Candu Energy have design authority? I guess your understanding is no.

  • It says Our 1,400 highly skilled employees design and deliver state-of-the-art ...what does the design word mean to you?

  • from

    Standardization would also create a unique opportunity to establish mechanisms for reliable longterm

    knowledge maintenance for any design. Full knowledge of the design needs to be maintained

    across the whole life cycle of a nuclear power plant, especially for the sixty years that new nuclear power

    plants will likely be in operation. In today’s concept, this knowledge would be gathered and managed by

    an entity within operator’s organization: the design authority11. However, it is probably not realistic to

    demand that every operator in the world, even a one plant operator, be able to establish and support a

    full-size design authority in its organizational structure; nor would it seem reasonable to expect full

    engineering knowledge of the same design to be fully maintained separately by several different operators.


    As a show of solidarity, some union members with organizations like the Boilermakers refused to cross the picket line out of respect for their cause.

  • OPG has design authority for OPG-operated plants.

    Bruce Power has design authority for Bruce-operated plants.

    HQ has design authority for Gentilly.

    NBP has design authority for Pt Lepreau.

    That's why they are all able to make modifications to their plants without getting our permission.

    The notion of the plant designer retaining design authority did not exist at the time these plants were built.