Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
3.4 out of 5 stars.
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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Employee Reviews in Chalk River, ON

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Chalk River, ON68 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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Not a good place for good people

If you are inept, unable to learn, get through life by who you know not what you know, are skilled in dishonest communication and slipping responsibility and see no problem with these characteristics in yourself or those around you then CNL/CNEA/AECL is a good fit. The management and exectutive ranks through out the conglomeration of ACERr/CNEA/CNL appear to have reached a critical mass with the above characteristics such that those who share that same behaviour are bound to find themselves fissioned off to into the management and executive ranks like and uncontrolled chain reaction.
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Insights into Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

Based on 24 survey responses
What people like
  • Feeling of personal appreciation
  • Fair pay for job
Areas for improvement
  • Sense of belonging
  • Overall satisfaction
  • General feeling of work happiness

No direction

Very good pay and great great benefits. The pension is changing all the time I would say it's better then some industries but isn't the best. One major pension issue is if you move from union to supervision or management you have to change pensions again. The site is driven by milestones which the executive recieved bonuses for. The staff is given very little direction on how to achieve these milestones as well as unrealistic timelines. There are a lot of disgruntled employees and a huge distrust for the management. Executive needs to get rid of lots of managers and start promoting people within who can lead in a collaborative way and help their employees achieve these milestones. Managers now just bully and look for updates but don't jump in and say what can I help you to be successful in this project? This company is at the points where it should contract out all its projects because they have made an absolute mess of whom they have promoted. There is 0 accountability of leadership and no one to turn to when you believe management is doing something unethical. Ethics doesn't seem to care and will not investigate any complaint against management you will experience gaslighting by the designated recipient if you do.
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Corrupt management that would rather create a full on scandal to save face destroying people's lives then admit wrong doing. I wouldn't suggest working here unless you are looking to gain a little experience and move on.
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Toxic work environment, corrupt leadership

Very corrupt leadership with contracted management from abroad. Toxic work culture. No real system in place. Old facilities and no chance to advance. Dying organization anyway with old facilities being phased out by the government.


good pay


waste of life
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Great working environment

Flexible working environment and cooperative employees. The company provides a lot of learning opportunities to enhance your interpersonal, technical skills.
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Not happy with how I was wrongfully dismissed and not offered another position.

It was very clicky up there and I felt very in the way and dumb. Was to be a one year term and I was let go at 6 months as the person off came back early.
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Great Place to Work

Great place to work!! Hours worked out perfectly with at 4 by 10 schedule resulting in three day weekends. Staff is great and easy to get along with. Supervisors were very approachable.


Good Communication through out the company.


The commute is long on a daily
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Great Place to work

Good experience for other jobs easy work and lots of available overtime Friendly enviroment + Flexible + Good bosses Great pay , respectful environment


Great People


Very Political
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A lot to learn from

Being a first year student, I didn't have a lot of prior work experience. The engineers there were very lenient and put me up to speed and gave me a lot of tasks to learn with.
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Overall rating

Based on 98 reviews

Ratings by category

3.8 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
4.0 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
3.3 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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