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.
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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If anyone certainly does NOT have design authority, that would be SPEA.