Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Happiness score is 52 out of 100
3.5 out of 5 stars.
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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories: 92 Employee Reviews

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3.8Work-life balance

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Challenging Work and Busy Environment

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The work at CNL is challenging and there are a number of interesting initiatives planned for the future. The workplace is hectic with multiple projects happening at the same time and some groups are not as well resourced as others, making for lots of work for fewer people. The compensation is good and the benefits are great, but it's easy to get burned out fast. Still, it's a good place to work.


Good pay, benefits and interesting work.


The fast pace and multiple projects can cause burnout quickly.
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Your experience will vary widely depending on your position. But overall the work is quite uninspiring. The pace is really slow. The company is full of life-timers who have very deeply entrenched ways of doing things and cannot tolerate newer ways of working. The location is not the best one could hope for. Good if you're used to living in small towns with almost zero options for good food and restaurants and variety of cuisines. You are virtually stuck in a well.
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Insights into Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

Based on 21 survey responses
What people like
  • Feeling of personal appreciation
  • Fair pay for job
Areas for improvement
  • Sense of belonging
  • Energizing work tasks
  • General feeling of work happiness

Horrible management

Management is horribleSuccess is only based on friendships and not driven by personal performanceAnnual merit increase is a complicated process where only some can recieve based on graded scale




Management style, nepotism
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The best fit of my career, doing work that matters to humanity.

CNL does work that matters to all of humanity. The pay and benefits are very good, and most employees enjoy the protection of a union. The management team aspires to greatness, but falls down in execution, which in part is a consequence of a long transition from being purely a federally-funded research and development lab, to, a commercially-driven organization. Personally, this place is the best fit of my career, and there are no barriers to what I can achieve. The fact that my work is now 100% remote, coupled with the very good pay, means that virtually no other employer can make a good-enough offer to entice me away.
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Ideal work environment for Design Engineer

The working environment is very ideal. Design is done in a safe manner, not corners cut. And no design is done in rush. But is also depends on the members in your team. Luckily, I am in a team which is very co-operative and understanding.
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Can be a good place to work but depends on what department you’re in

Lots of great people work here. Pay is below industry standard but still better than outside this industry. Job posting most of the time doesn’t match the actual job you’re hired to do. You will be expected to go above and beyond your role to cover for understaffed departments, depending on where you work.


Coworkers, health benefits


High workload, unorganized
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Good work environment, interesting work.

CNL overall is a good company to work for. I personally enjoy the type of work I do and look forward to growing with the company. The company, like many others, needs to work out a plan to make wages more competitive in the current run-away inflation crisis.


Interesting work, good flexibility and work life balance.


Somewhat low pay for the cost of living in the area.
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Good place to work

Good place to work...The pension is great compared to other private sector.Unionized position. I had worked with lot of experience knowdgeble people


Good learning curve


Some time work is slow
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Lots of potential, destroyed by bureaucracy

It used to be a great place. Now seem to be in a crisis. People are too inclined to maintain the status-quo. There are lots of smart people, but can't use their full potential because of the poor structure.
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Energy and drive are not rewarded.

The organization is driven by procedure and rules that often interfere with the efficient and successful completion of projects. Energy and drive are not rewarded. Management often has an adversarial relationship with staff, partially driven by distrust between union and management. Very unpleasant work experience.


Good salary for young professionals.


Projects are driven by procedure manuals.
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Salary,benefits and hours are very well above the average for the location. The working environment needs improvement

Work is oriented around projects. With many levels of management that focuse on the paperwork end of projects, more than focusing on the implementation of the actual project work. Many people find this frustrating as they would like to have more time to be in the field. The governing body, the PMO has implemented many changes in the policies, procedures and software for project controls without testing that they work or without providing the proper training. Many times a change is sent out to projects without checking how it impacts their other procedures or if the software works. There is also testing that project control coordinators are required to take by the PMO that is very generic and not streamlined to CNL expectations, policies or procedures. The tight reporting deadlines, strict PMO guidelines, the unclear expectations and constant change generates a very toxic environment. This toxic environment creates a high turn over in the project management staff . Full time workers are also held to higher expectations than staff that are contract workers. The plus side area is great if you would like to live in a rural area, or you have the option to work remotely. The people are great resulting in many great freindships outside of work. If you want to work in projects consider a contract position that would allow high pay and lower work expectations. The key is to make sure you get clear expectations of what you are responsible for and what your co workers are responsible. The PMO recently have been conducting meetings asking for input, but - 


Beautiful area, Co-workers who live in the area want to see CNL as a long-term employer, Great benefits, If you like change the constant change in staff and procedures will keep you happy.


Constant change, many ayers of management, Uncertainty in expectations, Many contract workers focus on short term goals.
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Very low morale

Do not work here, toxic culture, low morale. Trades group at the bottom of priority list. Very hard to work there because everyone has been mistreated on several occasions throughout their career there and now most employees are disgruntled .
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My experience at CNL was positive and great team environment.

Really enjoyed working at CNL. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for engineering opportunity and great experience.Great training program and professional development opportunities.
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Nice but inefficient

I liked my work and wasn't stressed. The range of work is great and managers are understanding but the beaurocracy slows work so much that it really hamstrings research.


Good wage, low stress


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Respected and treated like a valuable member of the team.

I love this place. Love it.Perhaps it is because I am a 31 year veteran AND worked for 5 years for a company providing training for the military that I just amazed that supervisors/managers can be respectful and not abusive. The respect I receive is off the charts and the benefits are equally amazing. I simply love love my job of courseware development.


Creative freedom.


The odd dinosaur who should retire.
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Non productive

Working in the trades on site is very limited as most of the large jobs are contracted out so trades only get the small tasks to do.A lot of sitting around and waiting for work to start.Micro managed and poor supervision.They are big on safety on site


Good benefit package
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Contract software developer

I really enjoyed working with CNL. I was well qualified for the work so had little trouble delivering. One really should know what they’re doing to succeed here. It’s not for remedial learning. What made it stand out was the lack of office politics. Egos were in check and respect was mutual all the way around.


Interesting work, excellent pay, good people


IT infrastructure was a bit weak in places but this challenge was fun.
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Great company to work for.

Worked for great people and was provided with an abundance of training in various programs. Hours were flexible and pay was generous. Employees were kept up to date with the various projects going on.
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Professional workplace with friendly co-workers

Good company to work for to meet new people in the area. Lots of different branches with in the company to venture into to best benefit yourself and the company.
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World Class facility

CNL is a great place to work. A lot of teamwork and a great research laboratory. There are a variety of avenues that can be explored at Canadian Nuclear Laboratory.
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Stay away

Stressful, toxic culture. Leadership is clueless, have no accountability, with rampant nepotism. Project is perpetually late and missing deadlines with new leaders, project will likely be taken away from CNL in near future, leaving many out of work.
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Overall rating

Based on 94 reviews

Ratings by category

3.8 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
4.0 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
3.4 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
2.9 out of 5 stars for Management
3.1 out of 5 stars for Culture

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