Atomic Energy of Canada Limited has appointed former chief financial officer Michael Robins as vice-president of restructuring.

In May 2009 the Government of Canada announced a restructuring plan to sell off the reactor development side of the business while keeping the research business.

In October, the Government of Canada announced that it had received a financial report from NM Rothschild & Sons on the planned restructuring. The report will not be disclosed because of ‘commercial confidentiality considerations.’ Although it said that it had not yet made a decision about how to break up the business, it did say that the report would be a big part of the efforts to restructure the business ‘to strengthen Canada’s nuclear industry to better position it to build on Canadian technology and access opportunities at home and abroad.’

AECL said that Robins will “lead a cross-functional team of AECL staff, and liaise with the team supporting Natural Resources Canada in assessing the restructuring options for AECL.”

It adds: “Robins’ broad knowledge and understanding of the business will enable him to access information and undertake analysis critical to the assessment of options for the restructuring of AECL’s operations.”

To fill Robins’ old role, AECL has appointed Kent Harris as senior vice-president and chief financial officer. Harris comes to AECL with a background in financial management for large global operations including strategy, complex systems and supply chain. Most recently he was chief financial officer for Wescast Industries. Prior to joining Wescast, Kent spent nearly 12 years at a major Canadian auto-parts supplier. Kent will have responsibility for all of AECL’s financial and business planning processes including information technology.

The company has been hit by several setbacks in the last few years, including the cancellation of its MAPLE reactor, the breakdown of its Chalk River NRU reactor and the rejection of its tender for its ACR-1000 Generation 3+ reactor design by Ontario Power Generation as too expensive.

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