Building International “Nuclear” Bridges from Canada to Sweden

Article By Shehab (Sunny) G. Mustafa, M.Eng., P.Eng.

Nuclear Bridge - Canda to Sweden

What do Sweden and Canada have in common? Swedes and Canadians love their hockey, the great outdoors, and as anyone who has shopped at IKEA knows, a knack for building things on their own. This ability to build things is not limited to furniture, in fact, both Sweden and Canada being relative small countries (population 9.7 million[i] and 34.8 million[ii], respectively), have been able to offer the world two nuclear power plant designs, a boiling water reactor (BWR)[iii], and the CANDU (CANadian Deuterium Uranium) reactor.

Mock-Up Tour

It is precisely the similarities in culture, in particular, nuclear safety culture, which provided three World Nuclear University (WNU) Summer Institute Alumni, Frida Gardemyr from Vattenfall AG in Sweden; Greg Leask, from Bruce Power; and Shehab (Sunny) Mustafa, from Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the opportunity to organize the first joint Canadian-Swedish Young Generation in Nuclear (YGN) visit to Canada from October 12 to 17. The visiting delegation of Swedish YGN representatives were nuclear energy professionals with backgrounds in Operations, Engineering, Maintenance Planning, and Consulting Services.

[caption id="attachment_3663" align="alignnone" width="541"]Swedish YGN Delegation with Canadian Co-Hosts, Greg Leask (Bruce Power) and Shehab (Sunny) Mustafa (OPG) Swedish YGN Delegation with Canadian Co-Hosts, Greg Leask (Bruce Power) and Shehab (Sunny) Mustafa (OPG)[/caption]

The purpose was of the visit was to highlight OPG’s safety culture, nuclear waste management operations, and provide informal benchmarking of practices between OPG and the Swedish nuclear industry. The Swedish delegation’s visit included tours of OPG’s Western Waste Management Facility (WWMF) in Kincardine, benchmarking presentations at OPG offices in Pickering, and a visit to the Darlington Energy Complex, Reactor Mock-up Facility in Clarington. As part of their visit to Canada, the Swedish YGN delegation also received a station tour of Bruce A in Kincardine, and Cameco’s Fuel Manufacturing facility in Port Hope, providing an overview of the entire Canadian nuclear fuel cycle.

During the Swedish delegation’s visit to Pickering, OPG presented numerous “good news” stories as part of the benchmarking presentation programme. This was kicked off by Mark Elliott, Senior Vice President, Nuclear Engineering & Chief Nuclear Engineer, whose strong support facilitated the visit to OPG, and he spoke to the delegates about the Darlington Refurbishment project.

[caption id="attachment_3660" align="alignnone" width="407"]Mark Elliott of OPG Addressing the Delegation Mark Elliott of OPG Addressing the Delegation[/caption]

Other presentations on the programme included:

  • OPG’s Nuclear Safety Culture by Evan Davidge, Section Manager (Acting), Thermalhydraulics Assessments;
  • National & International Cooperation at OPG by Jennifer Vulanovic, Manager, Stakeholder Relations;
  • Strategies for Licensing Nuclear Waste Management Facilities in Canada by Sunny Mustafa, Senior Licensing Engineer\Scientist\Technical Officer;
  • OPEX Overview at OPG by Steve Prigg, Senior Performance Improvement Officer;
  • Training at OPG, by Julie Joyce, Environmental Advisor (Relief);
  • History of Nuclear Power in Canada & North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN) Durham Chapter Update by Lauren Corkum, Section Manager, TRF & NA-YGN Durham Chapter Vice-President.

[caption id="attachment_3661" align="alignnone" width="407"]Lauren Corkum Presents for NAYGN's Durham Chapter Lauren Corkum Presents for NAYGN's Durham Chapter[/caption]

The Swedish delegation also provided an overview of their respective companies, Swedish nuclear power plants, and the nuclear waste management program. The programme was concluded with a discussion on the nature of leadership in the nuclear industry with Val Bevacqua, Director, Used Fuel Operations, Decommissioning & Nuclear Waste Management.

Roy Brown, Project Director, Retube & Feeder Replacement, led the Swedish YGN through the “heart” of the reactor at the Darlington Mock-up Facility. This tour helped the delegation visualize the CANDU reactor and re-emphasized OPG’s focus on a strong nuclear safety, continuous learning and outstanding training programs.

[caption id="attachment_3665" align="alignnone" width="541"]Swedish YGN's Presentation Swedish YGN's Presentation[/caption]

Lynda Cain and Chuck Lamers from OPG’s Corporate Relations and Communications Division facilitated the tours during the Swedish YGN’s visit. NA-YGN Canada’s support by Regional Lead, Rahim Lakhani (AMEC NSS) was instrumental in setting up the Cameco facility tour.

Feedback from Matthew Mairinger, OPG Darlington Plant Design and NA-YGN Durham chapter volunteer who participated in the benchmarking presentations commented: “This was an excellent learning opportunity to understand the public perception of nuclear in a foreign country and to learn about their different challenges and lessons learned. This visit also allowed us to share our experiences with CANDU/OPG with a group that works with PWR and BWR nuclear units.”

[caption id="attachment_3666" align="alignnone" width="407"]Tour of the Western Used Fuel Dry Storage Facility Tour of the Western Used Fuel Dry Storage Facility[/caption]

Members of the Swedish delegation, commenting on their visit said it went “well beyond their expectations,” and was “a trip of a lifetime.” The Swedish YGN’s visit to Canada allowed for successful building of bridges internationally between Canadian and Swedish nuclear energy professionals and demonstrated how a strong safety culture is a shared “global value.” This successful visit has laid the foundation for building future nuclear industry bridges between Swedish and Canadian YGN members.

[caption id="attachment_3664" align="alignnone" width="542"]Swedish YGN Inside the Reactor Swedish YGN Inside the Reactor[/caption]


List of Attendees from Swedish Young Generation in Nuclear:

*first names are underlined

Per Victor Andreas Vilander, Operations Engineer - Oskarshamns Kraftverk (OKG)

Anna Helena Beatrice Anderberg, Operations Engineer - Ringhals AB (RAB)

Carl Martin Holmberg, Maintenance Electrical Engineer - Ringhals AB (RAB)

Radomir Josek, Consultant - AF

Dan Olle Pettersson, Plant Construction Consultant - Rejlers Sweden

Tommie Andreas Andersson, Maintenance Planning Engineer - Formarks Kraftverk AB (FKA)


[i] Central Intelligence Agency (2014), The World Factbook, “Sweden.” Accessed online at: (October 20, 2014).

[ii] Ibid, The World Factbook, “Canada.” Accessed online at: (October 20, 2014).

[iii] World Nuclear Association (2014), “Nuclear Power in Sweden.” Accessed online at (October 28, 2014)