ATS wins new assignment from Atomic Energy of Canada



    TSX: ATA

    
    -   Brings total involvement to more than $45 million in less than
        2 years
    -   Latest assignment signals start of CANDU(R) retubing at Wolsong,
        South Korea
    -   Substantial automation opportunity ahead in nuclear plant
        refurbishment
    

    CAMBRIDGE, ON, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. today
announced that it has been selected by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
("AECL") to provide automated equipment for the CANDU reactor refurbishment
program at the Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant in South Korea.
    This order is strategically important because it represents the start of
another major AECL assignment and it is ATS's first involvement in an AECL
nuclear refurbishment project outside Canada. This new multi-million dollar
assignment is expected to lead to sizeable add-on orders as AECL's CANDU
refurbishment activity progresses at Wolsong. Nuclear refurbishment is a new
automation market for ATS, however with the orders received to date, primarily
for installation in Canada, AECL has already provided ATS with one of the
largest automation program mandates in the Company's history.
    "Nuclear plant refurbishment, in partnership with AECL, is rapidly
becoming a major global automation market opportunity and in less than 2 years
has already generated over $45 million in orders for ATS," said Ron Jutras,
ATS President and CEO. "By deploying our skills and developing the required
expertise to serve AECL, ATS is very well positioned for further orders over a
number of years with a valued, strategic customer. With world-leading CANDU
technology and a major installed base, AECL is exceptionally well situated to
win new nuclear refurbishment assignments around the world. We are very
optimistic about our prospects for additional AECL work on planned CANDU
refurbishments in the future."
    The Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant, owned by Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power
Company ("KHNP"), hosts four CANDU 6 units designed by AECL. Wolsong 1 went
into service in 1983. Due to outstanding lifetime performance (85% overall) of
Wolsong Unit 1, KHNP plans to retube the reactor in 2009 with AECL as the
prime contractor for design, equipment supply and installation.
    Said Mr. Dave Scott, AECL Vice President of Candu 6 Retube. "ATS's
leading automation skills and capabilities complement the expertise of AECL
extremely well and as a result, ATS is helping us to meet our commitment to
safe, on time and on budget service. In over 70 individual orders for AECL,
they have provided world class automation technology, engineering and
manufacturing and supplied equipment of significant scale, complexity and
sophistication necessary to serve this market."
    In the first stage of Wolsong refurbishment, ATS has been contracted to
provide a volume reduction system. This automated equipment extracts the
reactor core channels and crushes them into a waste container. Additional
automation will be required to complete the retubing process, as evidenced by
recent AECL refurbishment projects involving ATS at Bruce Power and the Point
Lepreau Generating Station. ATS automation equipment is now being shipped for
installation at Point Lepreau in New Brunswick and some automated equipment
supplied by ATS is already in operation at Bruce Power's generating station in
Ontario.
    For more information on how AECL and ATS are working together on the
Point Lepreau project, an informative video produced by AECL will be available
on the ATS website late today.

    AECL and ATS Automation

    Over the past two years, ATS has made a significant commitment to
developing its relationship with AECL. As a result, AECL contracted ATS to set
up a 15,000 sq.ft. mock-up of a CANDU 6 nuclear reactor to serve as a primary
retubing testing facility where automated retubing tools and processes can be
simulated and validated. This facility is now in operation at ATS's Cambridge,
Ontario location. ATS has worked closely with AECL to develop a number of
refurbishment tools which are expected to be utilized in each CANDU nuclear
facility that undergoes refurbishment.
    Retubing is a critical feature of AECL's reactor refurbishment process,
which improves the performance of CANDU plants and significantly extends their
productive lives. CANDU reactors that entered service in the 1980s are coming
due for refurbishment now through 2020 and through retubing, can expect to
perform at optimal levels for another 20-25 years. As the design owner of
33 CANDU reactors now in service, AECL is ideally positioned to provide
refurbishing solutions.
    Said Mr. Jutras: "We are proud of the expertise that ATS has developed in
this sophisticated field and of our close working partnership with AECL, a
world leader in nuclear technology. We look forward to applying this expertise
and continuing to grow our business for many years to come with this valued
and strategic customer."

    About AECL

    AECL is a full-service nuclear technology company providing services to
nuclear utilities around the world. Established in 1952, AECL is the designer
and builder of CANDU technology.
    AECL specializes in a range of advanced nuclear-energy products and
services that are an important component of clean-air energy programs on four
continents. AECL's 5,000+ employees provide research and development, support,
design and engineering, construction management, specialized technology,
refurbishment, waste management and decommissioning in support of CANDU
reactor products. More information on AECL, CANDU Services and CANDU
technology can be found at www.aecl.ca.

    About ATS

    ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. provides innovative, custom designed,
built and installed manufacturing solutions to many of the world's most
successful companies. Founded in 1978, ATS uses its industry-leading knowledge
and global capabilities to serve the sophisticated automation systems' needs
of multinational customers in industries such as healthcare,
computer/electronics, automotive and consumer products. It also leverages its
many years of repetitive manufacturing experience and skills to fulfill the
specialized repetitive equipment manufacturing requirements of customers.
Through its Photowatt solar business, ATS participates in the growing solar
energy industry and through its precision components business it produces, in
high volume, precision components and subassemblies. ATS employs approximately
3,500 people at 24 manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States,
Europe, southeast Asia and China. The Company's shares are traded on the
Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA. Visit the Company's website at
www.atsautomation.com.

    Forward Looking Statement

    This news release contains certain statements that constitute
forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws
("forward-looking statements"). Such forward-looking statements involve known
and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual
results, performance or achievements of ATS, or developments in ATS's business
or in its industry, to differ materially from the anticipated results,
performance, achievements or developments expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include all disclosure
regarding possible events, conditions or results of operations that is based
on assumptions about future economic conditions and courses of action.
Forward-looking statements may also include, without limitation, any statement
relating to future events, conditions or circumstances. ATS cautions you not
to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak
only as of the date they are made. Forward-looking statements relate to, among
other things: automation opportunity ahead in nuclear plant refurbishments;
the expectation that the assignment referenced in the news release will lead
to sizeable add-on orders; nuclear plant refurbishment, in partnership with
AECL, rapidly becoming a major global automation market opportunity; ATS's
positioning for further orders over a number of years; ATS's prospects for
additional AECL work on planned CANDU refurbishments; KHNP's plans to retube
its reactor at Wolsong, South Korea, the timing thereof and expectation that
AECL will be the prime contractor for aspects thereof; the expectation that
automation in addition to volume reduction equipment will be required to
complete the retubing process at the Wolsong, South Korea facility; the
expectation that refurbishment tools developed by ATS with AECL will be
utilized in each CANDU nuclear facility that undergoes refurbishment; CANDU
reactors coming due for refurbishment and timeline therefor; the positioning
of AECL to provide refurbishing solutions and win refurbishment assignments;
the continued growth of ATS's business with AECL. The risks and uncertainties
that may affect forward-looking statements include, among others: the
possibility that expected add-on orders for automation and other products do
not materialize as a result of changes in market conditions, the entrance of
new competitors, changes in project requirements or other reasons; the
possibility that ATS's positioning in the market does not lead to further
orders because of difficulties in deploying or developing required expertise
or other reasons; the possibility that refurbishment of the nuclear facility
at Wolsong, South Korea does not proceed in the manner and on the schedule
currently anticipated; the possibility that automation developed by ATS and
AECL is not used for refurbishment projects because of process changes,
alternative solutions, or other reasons; the possibility that CANDU reactors
do not come due for refurbishment as soon as anticipated; the possibility that
operators of CANDU reactors delay or withdraw from nuclear facility
refurbishment and construction for business, political, economic or other
reasons; risks associated with operating and servicing customers in a foreign
country; and other risks detailed from time to time in ATS's filings with
Canadian provincial securities regulators. Forward-looking statements are
based on management's current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and
opinions, and ATS does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking
statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections,
beliefs and opinions change.

    %SEDAR: 00002017E




For further information:

For further information: Carl Galloway, Vice President and Treasurer,
(519) 653-6500; Gerry Beard, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, (519)
653-6500


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