Powering Canada

Ian Wright
Nuclear energy is experiencing a global resurgence as countries aim to diversify their energy mix and reduce their carbon emissions.

In January 2014, the World Nuclear Association reported 71 nuclear reactors under construction, 172 on order or planned, and a further 312 proposed reactors. This is in addition to ongoing projects that extend the life or increase capacity of existing nuclear power plants.

Nuclear power plants have been part of Canada's energy mix since the early 1960s. Today, five plants in three provinces house 22 nuclear power reactors and the energy produced accounts for about 15 per cent of the country’s electricity.

Darlington is Ontario Power Generation's newest CANDU (CANadian Deuterium Uranium) nuclear generating station. This is a four-unit station with 3,524MW output, located in the Municipality of Clarington, 70km east of Toronto. Faithful+Gould was appointed by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in 2010, on an ongoing refurbishment project that will allow Darlington to continue safe and reliable operation for another 30 years.

Today, five plants in three provinces house 22 nuclear power reactors and the energy produced accounts for about 15 per cent of the country’s electricity.

Like all nuclear energy projects, this is a highly visible endeavour, with multiple stakeholder agendas/sensitivities. Principal stakeholders are our client OPG, the regulator Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Canada's federal government, the provincial government of Ontario, and local agencies, communities and interest groups.

OPG is keen to adopt best practice project management procedures and to incorporate lessons learned from other major refurbishments and complex, large scale, construction projects of this nature. A detailed model of the reactor forms part of a 350,000-square-foot training centre and warehouse built at Darlington in preparation for the reactor overhaul. The mock-up gives the construction workforce a full-scale practice facility, to assess the best working techniques in advance of the refurbishment. This will reduce over-runs and contribute towards best practice safety.

Faithful+Gould is leading on a range of project management and commercial services to protect our client's interests and support their goals for a timely and cost-effective project. In a sector where cost estimates are widely acknowledged as complex and unpredictable, we are using our expertise and experience to bring greater cost certainty.

In a sector where cost estimates are widely acknowledged as complex and unpredictable, we are using our expertise and experience to bring greater cost certainty.

We are additionally providing contract, procurement and scheduling support, cost engineering, project controls and risk management for the power station and its surrounding infrastructure. An important integral part of our role is to help OPG develop improved processes and procedures, so that a best practice legacy operation remains at the end of the contract.

Faithful+Gould has also supported OPG with large-scale modifications to the Pickering A and B power stations, located on the shores of Lake Ontario, just east of Toronto. This is one of the world’s largest nuclear generating facilities and we have been involved for the past four years. We have provided planning support, estimating and process and procedure reviews.

Our long-standing experience in the energy sector informs our efforts on nuclear power station projects. We have successfully transferred our global technical and commercial expertise from the upstream oil and gas, transmission and distribution, offshore and subsea sectors into the nuclear power generation and renewables markets. We also advise clients on energy-saving policy and operational improvement.

Our project management and commercial services leadership underpin our clients' goals on challenging projects in the Americas, Middle East and Europe.

Together with our parent company Atkins, we have a detailed understanding of the commercial, technical and political pressures facing the nuclear power generation market – regulatory scrutiny, price volatility, consumer expectations and political sensitivities. Our project management and commercial services leadership underpin our clients' goals on challenging projects in the Americas, Middle East and Europe.

In addition to OPG, our client portfolio lists Exelon, British Nuclear Fuels, British Nuclear Group, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), British Energy, Horizon Nuclear Power, EDF Energy and NNB GenCo.

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Ian Wright Vice President Contact me View my profile >