January 13, 2007

Jan. 13, 2007: Canatom NPM & Network Part 1

Note: When I began searching, using the acronyms I came across, sometimes, there was little information (e.g. searching CNUS); sometimes the full name was necessary. This is lengthy but the following are what I looked at in order to find out who benefit from Canadian taxpayers' largesse through the Canada Account of Export Development Canada. It was a long slog.

Canatom NPM, a "private" nuclear company, and its network of companies

I tried to learn whether all or just a few Canadians were benefitting from the EDC and Canada Account and from the nuclear industry, so I searched Canatom and Canatom NPM which led a network of companies, along with other issues, ending with trust funds set aside by Canadian power companies (for whom? for what?) and management of nuclear fuel waste which, apparently affects a number of natives. Had new nuclear facilities been planned in Canada, in the North or the West? Intriguing.

Unless you already know a bit, ownership appears very complex; yet, it becomes less so, once you consider Canadian politics, business and the exercise of power, as we have come to know their operation in Canada over the last several years. Quebec and SNC Lavalin have prospered from the Canada account's largesse, along with AECL and a few others.

Update Jan. 15, 2007: I added NWMO - Nuclear Waste Management Organization - to the screen capture

1967: Canatom founded - to provide nuclear engineering services
1982: NPM - Nuclear Projects Management - for project management, construction management, commissioning assistance and procurement of nuclear equipment

Sometime: [more below]
SNC-Lavalin and Monenco-Agra jointly owned Canatom


Search: Armbro Canatom


Canatom NPM is the largest Canadian private-sector engineering company operating exclusively in the nuclear field and, for the past 35 years, has been a key player in enabling the CANDU nuclear power system to compete successfully on the world scene. [with a little help from Canadian taxpayers]

This achievement would not have been possible without the foresight of the principals of the three founding engineering companies (Montreal Engineering, Shawinigan Engineering and Surveyer, Nenniger & Chenevert (SNC) - the original parent companies) in bringing together their nuclear expertise under one umbrella organization. This organization commanded the combined resources of these companies in the electric power and related fields dating back to the beginning of this century [the last century]. Throughout the entire period the other key ingredient to success was the close working relationship between Canatom NPM and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, the developer and designer of the CANDU reactor.

The history of the company over the past third of a century is outlined in these pages. [....]

Argentina, Denmark, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Romania, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, and U.S.A. [....]

Canatom NPM's Role in the Canadian Nuclear Industry

[....] Company Background

Canatom was formed in 1967 as a wholly owned subsidiary of 3 large Canadian engineering companies to provide services exclusively to the nuclear industry. Canatom has since changed from its original concept, and is now known as Canatom NPM, reflecting its engineering and construction abilities, as well as it "nuclear project management" capabilities. Canatom NPM is now owned by SNC-Lavalin (62%), and by BFC Construction (38%). [....]

BFC Construction Corp Profile [more below]
3660 Midland Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario, M1V 4V3, Canada

... over 10,000 employees.

BFC Construction Inc., formerly Banister Inc., ... publicly traded construction company operating in pipeline construction, underground, utility construction, nuclear and civil building and industrial construction. BFC operates through its subsidiaries BFC Construction Group Inc. and Tanknology Canada Inc. During 1998 the company acquired a 24% interest in Canatom NPM Inc. and QX Ltd., a company specializing in fibre optic cable splicing.

For close to a century, Armbro, BFC and the companies that united behind them have played a central role in building Canada and the infrastructure that binds the nation.

On June 18, 2001, these proud companies came together to share an exciting new future and a brand new name:

Aecon ... www.aecon.com

[There is more: Check Innovitech , CGI , CDG
CDG -- Télécharger le formulaire d'adhésion ]

SNC-Lavalin, Monenco-Agra, Foundation Nuclear, AECL formed NPM (Nuclear Projects Management) consortium

1998: Canatom NPM Inc. - formed from Canatom and NPM (Nuclear Projects Management) - approx. 250 employees

Since 1998: ownership of Canatom has changed to SNC-Lavalin (62%) and BFC Construction (38%)



Early in 1997, AECL signed a contract with TQNPC (Third Qinshan Nuclear Power Co.) for the supply, construction management and commissioning of 2 x 700 MW CANDU units on a fixed, firm price basis. [....]

The Plant is divided into two major areas: NSP (Nuclear Steam Plant) and the BOP (Balance of Plant). The BOP scope includes buildings, structures and systems within the turbine building (T/B), T/B annex, water treatment plant, pumphouse, firewater supply system and transformer area.

The NSP scope includes the reactor building, the service building and other auxiliary structures, and all systems within these buildings and structures. The NSP is further divided into the Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS) and Balance of Nuclear Steam Plant (BNSP).

The major participants and their roles are:

* TQNPC: Owner, BOP construction management, fuel supply and heavy water supply [see below]
* AECL: Main contractor, NSP design
* Bechtel-Hitachi Consortium: BOP design and equipment supply
* CANATOM NPM Inc.: Site project management, NSP construction management, commissioning management, NSP equipment supply, and BNSP design. [Balance of Nuclear Steam Plant]
* Chinese construction contractors: Construction

Press release -- or here


More here on heavy water and plutonium

"Heavy water is the key to one type of reactor in which plutonium can be bred from natural uranium. [ Remember the increased interest in Saskatchewan unranium? Posted on Frost Hits the Rhubarb in December 2006, I believe. ] As such, the production of heavy water has always been monitored, and the material is export controlled. In addition, a source of deuterium is essential for the production of tritium and 6LiD, two ingredients of thermonuclear weapons. A nation seeking large quantities of heavy water probably wishes to use the material to moderate a reactor, and may be planning to produce plutonium. However, CANDU (CANadian Deuterium Uranium) reactors designed and built in Canada are used for commercial electric power production. .... The Bruce Heavy Water Plant in Ontario, Canada, is the world’s largest producer of D2O." Adapted from - Nuclear Weapons Technology Militarily Critical Technologies List (MCTL) Part II: Weapons of Mass Destruction Technologies

More here, a Korean website:



Wei Guoliang, vice president of TQNPC (Third Qinshan Nuclear Power Company) and his party visited KPS" (Korea Plant Service and Engineering) Aug. 22, 2006."TQNPC [is] an affiliated power generation company of CNNC, holds 2 heavy water reactors (700MWe).

More here:

More here: China National Nuclear Corporation



AECL: Qinshan -- or here


[....] The contract will allow TQNPC and the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research Institute, TQNPC's engineering subcontractor, to localize AECL's design and construct the first of approximately 10 storage modules. The project will take about three years to complete.

Michael Ingram, AECL's Vice President of CANDU Services added, "Our goal is to be a key contributor to the success of CANDU plants worldwide. Our patented MACSTOR [Modular Air-Cooled STORage] technology gives us the ability to help utilities manage their spent fuel safely, reduce overall costs while saving up to one-third of the space required by comparable systems." [....]


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