The Canadian government has selected a consortium of SNC-Lavalin, CH2M, Fluor, EnergySolutions and Rolls-Royce as its preferred bidder to manage and operate Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL).

The consortium, known collectively as the Canadian National Energy Alliance, will operate Canada’s nuclear research and development laboratories, and will have responsibility for the decommissioning and radioactive waste management of legacy materials.

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ activities are currently spread across ten locations in Canada, including the Chalk River and Whiteshell facilities.

The contract is part of the restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited; one of several measures the Government has taken to strengthen Canada’s nuclear industry. The selection of a private contractor to manage the labs marks the final step in the restructuring. In 2011, SNC-Lavalin purchased the assets of the commercial reactor division of AECL, including the exclusive rights to Candu nuclear technology.

"CNEA brings a successful track record and extensive nuclear experience that will bring enormous benefits to the decommissioning and clean-up programme and in ensuring that Canada’s world-class nuclear science and technology capabilities continue to grow and are recognised globally," said Mark Lesinski, CNEA president and chief executive.

The Government of Canada and CNEA will work to finalise contracts in the coming months allowing CNEA to assume ownership of CNL and begin management and operation of the laboratories.