Request for Response Evaluation for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) GoCo Procurement (23240-120758/F)

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Tender Notice


Publishing status
Days to closing
6 years 1 month ago


Publication date
Amendment date
Date closing
2015/01/30 14:00 Eastern Standard Time (EST)


Reference number
Solicitation number
Region of opportunity
Region of delivery
Notice type
Request for Qualification (RQ)
Trade agreement
  • None
Tendering procedure
Procurement entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada
End user entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada

Contact Information

Contact name
Jay Lavigne
Contact phone
Contact address
588 Booth Street, room 246
Ottawa  ON
K1A 0S5

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This RFRE invites suppliers to submit Responses indicating their interest in becoming qualified during Stage 1: RFRE Stage and thereafter to participate in the anticipated Stage 2: RFP Stage should they become qualified respondents as detailed in the RFRE.  

The RFRE Stage will include detailed consultations with Qualified Respondents where it is expected that feedback will be provided to Canada on its development of the final RFP and Contract.

Contracting Authority: Jay Lavigne, e-mail address:



On February 28, 2013, the Minister of Natural Resources announced that Canada would undertake a competitive procurement for a Contractor to manage the operations of AECL’s Nuclear Laboratories using a Government-owned, Contractor-operated (GoCo) model.  Similar models are used in the management of nuclear operations in other jurisdictions, such as the United States and the United Kingdom.  Going forward, the Nuclear Laboratories will focus on three key areas: (i) managing radioactive waste and decommissioning responsibilities; (ii) performing science and technology (S&T) activities to meet core federal responsibilities; and (iii) supporting Canada’s nuclear industry through access to S&T facilities and expertise on a commercial basis.  For more information on the General Requirements for this procurement refer to Annex A (Draft General Requirements) attached to this RFRE. 

The purpose of this RFRE is to initiate a procurement process to obtain the services of a Contractor to manage a SOC that will be responsible for managing and operating AECL’s Nuclear Laboratories.  It is anticipated that AECL will incorporate a SOC prior to the end of the Contract Finalization Stage of this procurement process, as described below.  The SOC will perform most of the functions and operations that AECL currently performs, and it will become the employer of the majority of the employees of AECL.  It is anticipated that the SOC will hold all necessary licences, permits and other regulatory approvals required to operate AECL’s properties and assets, which properties and assets the SOC will have the right to use.


The objective of this procurement is to procure the services of a Contractor that will significantly transform AECL’s Nuclear Laboratories to ensure that the SOC leverages the capabilities and resources to successfully: deliver nuclear S&T-related products and services to government and third-party customers, and fulfill decommissioning and waste management needs, while containing and reducing costs and financial risks for Canadian taxpayers over time.

The objective is expected to be met through (i) ensuring that nuclear safety is not compromised, (ii) efficient decommissioning and waste management; (iii) new revenue generation; (iv) solving complex technical, financial and regulatory issues; (v) use of best practices and innovative approaches that will enable productivity and efficiency improvements, and (vi) ensuring that the Nuclear Laboratories sustain a healthy nuclear safety culture and are safely and securely managed, and that capabilities, resources and infrastructure required to satisfy AECL’s mandate are maintained.

Procurement Overview: 
This RFRE invites suppliers to submit Responses indicating their interest in becoming qualified during Stage 1: RFRE Stage and thereafter to participate in the anticipated Stage 2: RFP Stage and, if selected to do so, upon completion of such stage, to participate in the anticipated Stage 3: Contract Finalization Stage.  Please refer to Annex B (Anticipated End-State Contracting Model) attached to this RFRE for a diagram representation of the GoCo model and a high-level overview of the roles and responsibilities of AECL, the SOC and the Contractor under the GoCo model.

The overall procurement for this requirement will be conducted in one continuous process consisting of three separate and sequential stages:

Stage 1: RFRE Stage

(a)	Suppliers will submit a Response that will be evaluated to confirm that the Mandatory Technical Criteria (Annex F to this RFRE), financial capability requirements and certifications are met.  During the RFRE Stage, Canada will identify the Respondents that satisfy the requirements of the RFRE (aside from the National Security Requirements described below) and those Respondents will be deemed Qualified Respondents.  Please refer to the RFRE for a detailed description of the basis for qualification.  Canada will commence the National Security Requirements assessment described in this RFRE upon a Respondent satisfying the Mandatory Technical Criteria (Annex F to this RFRE).  Only Qualified Respondents that meet the National Security Requirements will be eligible to participate in Stage 2: RFP Stage. 

(b)	Suppliers will have the opportunity to submit a Response to the RFRE on or before any of the three Response Intake Dates to attempt to become a Qualified Respondent.  The response process is described in Part 2 (Instructions to Respondents), of this RFRE.

(c)	Industry Engagement on the Draft RFP and Draft Contract

i.	The RFRE Stage will include detailed consultations with Qualified Respondents.  Detailed consultations will consist of industry meetings and any other processes deemed necessary by the Contracting Authority, including group discussions, site visits, and one-on-one discussions between Canada and each Qualified Respondent.  The detailed requirements and terms of the Draft RFP, including the Draft Contract and the draft statements of work for the Contractor and SOC (the "Statements of Work"), will be made available to Qualified Respondents through the detailed consultations.  All Qualified Respondents who participate in the detailed consultations will receive the same Draft RFP, Draft Contract and the draft Statements of Work.

ii.	Qualified Respondents will be required to sign the Non-Disclosure Agreement, attached as Annex H to this RFRE and satisfy the security requirements described in clause 6.1 of this RFRE, before being provided with the opportunity to participate in the detailed consultations.

iii.	The detailed consultations are not intended to be a forum for negotiating any provisions of the Draft RFP, the Draft Contract or the draft Statements of Work, but rather one in which Qualified Respondents can provide feedback to Canada on its development of the final RFP, Contract and Statements of Work.

iv.	Feedback provided during any group discussions, one-on-one discussions between Canada and a Qualified Respondent or through written comments may be analyzed for further consideration by Canada and may be incorporated, in whole or in part, into subsequent procurement documents that Canada issues as part of this procurement process (e.g., the RFP) and/or the Contract.

v.	Respondents who become Qualified Respondents after the Second Response Intake Date or the Final Response Intake Date will be allowed to provide feedback on topics previously covered in the detailed consultations but will not be granted additional time for detailed consultations.

vi.	All documents and information provided to Qualified Respondents, who have qualified after the First Response Intake Date, will also be provided to Qualified Respondents who qualified after the Second Response Intake Date or the Final Response Intake Date.

vii.	One-On-One Discussions
In-person one-on-one discussions will be held in Ottawa.  Topics are likely to include but are not limited to feedback on the procurement process, the Draft RFP, Draft Contract and draft Statements of Work.

viii.	Group Discussions
It is anticipated that in-person group discussions will be held in Ottawa.  Topics are likely to include but are not limited to: contractual arrangements; duration of contract(s); payment mechanism; subcontracting; liability and indemnification; intellectual property; and human resource matters.

ix.	Site Visits 
It is anticipated that site visits to the Chalk River Laboratories and the Whiteshell Laboratories will be organized.

x.	Information Sessions with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is the sole authority for regulating the use of all nuclear energy and materials in Canada.  Given that Respondents may have responsibilities under future CNSC licences and could be required to participate in the CNSC licensing process, the CNSC is offering to meet with the Respondents on an individual basis or as a group to help them understand the way in which nuclear energy is regulated in Canada.  

(d)	Details on the Terms of Engagement can be found in Annex J (Terms of Engagement) attached to this RFRE.  

(e)	Engagement on Canada’s Nuclear Innovation Agenda
In parallel, and separate from this procurement process, Canada is also exploring the viability of a nuclear innovation agenda, which will include discussions with various industry and academic stakeholders. To that effect, Canada anticipates inviting Qualified Respondents to engage with Canada to receive input and feedback on possible federal investment in a nuclear innovation agenda. Canada may, in lieu, invite all Respondents to the First Intake Date of the RFRE to engage on this policy matter.  This engagement is anticipated to take place in April or May 2014.  Any nuclear innovation agenda would not be managed by the Contractor, but could provide additional business opportunities for the SOC. Any information received through this engagement on the nuclear innovation agenda will be used to inform Canada’s considerations regarding possible federal investment in a proposed nuclear innovation agenda and will not affect or modify the requirements for Qualified Respondents.

Anticipated Stage 2: RFP Stage

The RFP Stage will commence once all of the National Security Requirements assessments have been completed and when the final RFP is issued to Qualified Respondents that have satisfied the National Security Requirements.  In the RFP Stage, Bids will be solicited from such Qualified Respondents.  Each Bid will be irrevocable and will remain open for acceptance for a period of time that will be specified in the RFP.  Bids will be evaluated against mandatory and point rated technical criteria and financial criteria and other requirements.  It is anticipated that the RFP Stage will end with the selection of a Preferred Bidder. 

Anticipated Stage 3: Contract Finalization Stage

(a)	The Contract Finalization Stage will commence when the Preferred Bidder has been selected and confirmed in writing by the Contracting Authority.  It will be a condition of the RFP that, by submitting a Bid in accordance with the RFP, the Bidder is deemed to confirm its understanding and agreement that, if the Bidder is selected as the Preferred Bidder, then within a period of time that will be specified in the RFP: (i) the Preferred Bidder will deliver to Canada the Finalization Stage Security, and (ii) the Preferred Bidder will sign a Preferred Bidder Agreement substantially in the form attached to the RFP.

(b)	The Finalization Stage Security will be comprised of an irrevocable standby letter of credit in an amount and in the form specified in the RFP, to secure the performance of the Preferred Bidder’s obligations during the Contract Finalization Stage of this procurement process.

RFRE Response Intake Dates: 

Respondents have multiple opportunities to submit a Response.  These opportunities are called “Response Intake Dates”.  The Response Intake Dates are as follows:

First Response Intake Date: April 7, 2014 by 2:00 pm EDT 
Second Response Intake Date: May 23, 2014 by 2:00 pm EDT 
Third Response Intake Date: July 15, 2014 by 2:00 pm EDT 
Fourth Response Intake Date: August 6, 2014 by 2:00 pm EDT 
Fifth Response Intake Date: September 9, 2014 by 2:00 pm EDT 
Sixth Response Intake Date: October 29, 2014 by 2:00 pm EDT
Seventh Response Intake Date: November 10, 2014 by 2:00 pm EST
Final Response Intake Date: January 14, 2015 by 2:00 pm EST

As soon as possible after each of the Response Intake Dates, Responses will be evaluated and Respondents will be informed of the results in the manner described in Part 4 (Evaluation Procedures and Basis of Qualification).  Qualified Respondents will then be able to participate in the detailed consultations, provided that they satisfy certain requirements specified in clause 2.3.2 of this RFRE.

Respondents are encouraged to respond prior to the First Response Intake Date to ensure that they satisfy the requirements to participate in the detailed consultations.  Respondents may however enter the RFRE process by responding to the RFRE on or before subsequent Response Intake Dates.

Respondents who fail to qualify as a Qualified Respondent are allowed to submit a new Response on or before the next applicable Response Intake Date. 

Respondents will not be allowed to submit a new Response or any revisions to a Response after the Final Response Intake Date.  Please refer to RFRE (Revisions to a Response Submitted Prior to a Response Intake Date).

Canada reserves the right to add additional Response Intake Dates.

Specific Details Regarding this Procurement:

National Security Exception: To protect its essential security interests, including ensuring compliance with its nuclear policies and its international nuclear non-proliferation treaties with other countries, Canada has invoked the National Security Exception for this procurement, which excluded this procurement from all of the obligations of the trade agreements to which Canada is a party.

Resulting Contract(s):

This procurement process will lead to the selection of a single contractor with one or more agreement(s) to satisfy all requirements.   It is anticipated that the duration of the Agreement(s) could be of different lengths and will be further detailed in the later stage of the draft and final RFP.


Security requirement for RFRE - Note:  the Security requirement may be increased at the RFP stage.

Qualified Respondents seeking access to information during the RFRE will require Designated Organization Screening (DOS) at Reliability (or equivalent), Document Safeguarding at Protected B (or equivalent) Facility Site Clearance at Protected B or equivalent, and Personnel security screening at Reliability (or equivalent).

Current CISD Certificates of Clearance will be recognized by AECL.

All sponsored suppliers are required to:

i.	If already cleared, please provide your certificate of clearance to AECL at the following e-mail address:
ii.	If you haven't received notice of clearance, please contact immediately AECL representative mentioned below so they can provide you with a list of necessary information in order to resume the clearance process.   
iii.	At the same time, please identify a prioritized list of resources that will be required to be cleared to participate in the engagement sessions and/or RFRE/RFP development. In an effort to ensure all companies have representation at the engagement sessions AECL will concentrate on clearing the first 5 names on each list.  Any additional names will be cleared to the extent possible to meet the anticipated timelines of the process. 

Partial responses will not be accepted

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Solicitation Documents

FileAmendment numberLanguageUnique Download Event (English page)Date added
rfre_english_march_7_2014.pdf001English- Not available
rfre_francais_march_7_2014.pdf001French- Not available
drpe_amendement_001_q_1_a_5_-_f.pdf002French- 2014-03-24
rfre_amendment_001_q_1_through_5_e.pdf002English- 2014-03-24
annex_h_-_nda_-_fr_-revised_mar_26_2014.pdf003French- 2014-03-27
annex_h_-_nda_revised_mar_26_2014.pdf003English- 2014-03-27
drpe_amendement_002_q6_a_10_-_f.pdf004French- 2014-03-27
rfre_amendment_002_q_6_through_10_e.pdf004English- 2014-03-27
drpe_amendement_003_-_f.pdf005French- 2014-03-28
rfre_amendment_003_-_e.pdf005English- 2014-03-28
drpe_amendement_004_-_f.pdf006French- 2014-04-01
rfre_amendment_004_-_e.pdf006English- 2014-04-01
drpe_amendement_005_-_f.pdf007French- 2014-04-07
rfre_amendment_005_-_e.pdf007English- 2014-04-07
drpe_amendement_006_-_f.pdf008French- 2014-05-08
rfre_amendment_006_-_e.pdf008English- 2014-05-08
drpe_amendement_007_-_q29_et_q30_f.pdf009French- 2014-05-16
rfre_amendment_007_-_q_29_and_q30_e.pdf009English- 2014-05-16
drpe_amendement_008_-_q31_f.pdf010French- 2014-05-21
rfre_amendment_008_-_q31_e.pdf010English- 2014-05-21
drpe_amendement_009.pdf011French- 2014-05-23
rfre_amendment_009.pdf011English- 2014-05-23
drpe_amendement_010.pdf012French- 2014-05-29
rfre_amendement_010.pdf012English- 2014-05-29
drpe_amendement_011.pdf013French- 2014-06-13
rfre_amendement_011.pdf013English- 2014-06-13
drpe_amendement_012.pdf014French- 2014-06-19
rfre_amendment_012.pdf014English- 2014-06-19
drpe_amendement_013.pdf015French- 2014-07-04
rfre_amendement_013.pdf015English- 2014-07-04
en_rfre_amendment_re_names_of_qrs.pdf016English- 2014-07-25
fr_dpre_amendment_re_names_of_qrs.pdf016French- 2014-07-25
drpe_amendement_015.pdf017French- 2014-07-31
rfre_amendment_015.pdf017English- 2014-07-31
drpe_amendement_016.pdf018French- 2014-08-05
rfre_amendment_016.pdf018English- 2014-08-05
drpe_amendement_017.pdf019French- 2014-08-22
rfre_amendment_017.pdf019English- 2014-08-22
drpe_amendement_18.pdf020French- 2014-09-08
rfre_amendment_018_new_response_intake_date.pdf020English- 2014-09-08
drpe_amendement_19.pdf021French- 2014-09-12
rfre_amendment_019_appendices_1_and_2_to_annex_l.pdf021English- 2014-09-12
drpe_amendement_020.pdf022French- 2014-10-07
rfre_amendment_020_answer_-_q38.pdf022English- 2014-10-07
drpe_amendement_021.pdf023French- 2014-10-10
rfre_amendment_021_add_paragraph_7.4.1.pdf023English- 2014-10-10
drpe_amendement_022.pdf024French- 2014-10-28
rfre_amendment_022.pdf024English- 2014-10-28
drpe_amendement_023.pdf025French- 2014-11-03
rfre_amendment_023.pdf025English- 2014-11-03
drpe_amendement_024_.pdf026French- 2014-11-17
rfre_amendment_024_q40_q41.pdf026English- 2014-11-17
drpe_amendement_025.pdf027French- 2014-11-25
rfre_amendment_025.pdf027English- 2014-11-25
drpe_amendement_026.pdf028French- 2014-12-12
rfre_amendment_026.pdf028English- 2014-12-12
drpe_amendement_026.pdf029French- 2014-12-12
rfre_amendment_026.pdf029English- 2014-12-12
dpre_amendment_027.pdf030French- 2014-12-22
rfre_amendment_027.pdf030English- 2014-12-22
drpe_amendment_028.pdf031French- 2014-12-30
rfre_amendment_028.pdf031English- 2014-12-30
drpe_amendment_029.pdf032French- 2015-01-30
rfre_amendment_029.pdf032English- 2015-01-30