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Director, Conduct of Operations

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)
Reports to
Vice President, Capital Program, Operations and Security

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is a federal Crown corporation responsible for enabling nuclear science and technology and managing the Government of Canada’s radioactive waste responsibilities.

AECL delivers their mandate through a contractual arrangement with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) for the management and operation of their sites under a Government-owned, Contractor-operated (GoCo) model.  Under the GoCo model, AECL remains the owner of the sites, facilities, assets and intellectual property and leverages private-sector experience, rigor and efficiency in the operation of its sites.  Details related to the work of CNL and the services it provides to AECL as well as third party customers can be found on the CNL website:

The Opportunity:  AECL is seeking a Director, Conduct of Operations in support of Business Operations and Safety.  The role is responsible for the oversight of safety and operation of CNL, as AECL’s contractor, in their role as operator at the Chalk River Laboratories, the Whiteshell Laboratories, the Port Hope Area Initiative, and other sites for which AECL has responsibility.  At these sites there are many complex nuclear facilities undergoing decommissioning, operation and construction; often in close proximity to one another.  The facilities include nuclear reactors, shielded facilities, fuel development and manufacturing facilities, laboratories, waste management facilities, and decommissioning sites.

Reports To:                         Vice President, Capital Program, Operations and Security

Location:                             Chalk River Laboratories, Chalk River, Ontario, Canada


Reporting to the Vice President, Capital Program, Operations and Security Oversight, this position has responsibility for AECL’s own Health and Safety, including Emergency Preparedness matters, as well as for oversight activities of the contractor relating to Conduct of Operations (including operations, safety, radiological and environmental programs) and their integration for cost effective implementation.  Specific accountabilities include:

  • Serves as the main point of contact for AECL on Conduct of Operations
  • Conducts active oversight of the contractor’s safety performance through analysis, evaluation and comparison to Good Industry Practice and health, safety, security and environmental metrics
  • Maintains an awareness of activities and on-site presence at Chalk River, Whiteshell, the Port Hope Area Initiative and the Nuclear Power Demonstration reactor in order to provide detailed evaluations of the contractor’s performance with an additional focus on integrated, cost effective implementation
  • Leads the development of performance metrics and incentives for the contractor’s operational activities
  • Performs regular facility walk-downs documenting/communicating evaluations and recommending corrective actions
  • Monitors contractor and subcontractor integrated work control activities
  • Is accountable for the development, training, and effective implementation of AECL’s emergency preparedness and response accountabilities
  • Directs and integrates AECL’s emergency protocols with CNL’s Emergency Preparedness Program in order to facilitate effective implementation under emergency conditions
  • Participates in regulatory and operational working groups to promote effective and efficient implementation and integration of requirements
  • Contributes operational and safety perspectives to waste requirements implementation working groups in order to promote effective and safe characterization, packaging and disposal
  • Oversees and evaluates decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) planning and execution activities with a focus on key programmatic interfaces such as:
    • Connecting points to site infrastructure (e.g., power, water, steam) processes
    • Operational and environmental monitoring activities and programs
    • Operational and D&D safety basis and engineering requirements implementation and integration
  • Fosters strong working relationships with government regulatory agencies, Natural Resources Canada, and the contractor. The incumbent must work effectively at all levels of the contractor’s organization
  • Provides due diligence and oversight for AECL in order to facilitate efficient and effective facility operations while protecting the public, workers and the environment. Helps AECL be diligent in its role as owner of nuclear facilities by evaluating compliance of the contractor’s activities with legal and regulatory requirements and for appropriate protection of the public, staff, the environment and AECL assets
  • Acts as the Duty Officer on a scheduled basis
  • Provides weekly reporting to AECL on the status of CNL’s Health, Safety, Security and Environment program

Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

  • Post-secondary education in a field of science or technology and 10+ years of related experience or 15+ years of relevant experience in a related field (for example, Nuclear Operations or Facility Decommissioning)
  • Extensive nuclear operational experience, preferably as manager of a nuclear operating facility or site
  • Good working knowledge of the Canadian nuclear regulatory framework
  • Extensive knowledge of international best practices for nuclear operations, particularly with respect to integrated work control, radiation protection best practices, and safety programs
  • Detailed knowledge of Conduct of Operations as defined in the nuclear operating license and dictated by the Government of Canada’s Class I Nuclear Facilities Regulations and as defined in references such as IAEA Safety Standard NS-6-2.14 defining the fundamental elements of Conduct of Operations including Management and Organization of the Plant, Shift Complement and Functions, Shift Routines and Operating Practices, Control of Equipment and Plant Status, Operations Equipment and Operator Aids, and Work Control and Authorization
  • Possess a general understanding of AECL’s operations and the interplay of safety and security with disciplined operations
  • Possess specific knowledge of contents and requirements of Health, Safety, Security and Environmental programs, particularly with respect to the regulatory and legal framework for AECL’s and the Contractor’s operations
  • Demonstrated skills in team building and group leadership
  • Excellent communication skills, being able to communicate complex concepts simply and clearly to a broad range of audiences: staff, AECL and Contractor executive teams, peers, the AECL Board of Directors, stakeholders and the public.

Compensation:  The successful candidate will be offered an attractive salary, excellent benefits, and relocation assistance.

Contact Information:  KeySource Thomas Thor has been exclusively retained to conduct this search.  Any information exchanged and related to this role is considered proprietary and will be managed through:


Beth Park

Project Director, Executive Search