Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Work wellbeing score is 68 out of 100
3.4 out of 5 stars.
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3.8Work-life balance

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

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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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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
  • Time and location flexibility
  • Feeling of personal appreciation
  • Fair pay for job
Areas for improvement
  • Sense of belonging
  • General feeling of work happiness
  • Overall satisfaction

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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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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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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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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Learning experience

Spent over seven years with this organization. The last three years, several organizational/management/staffing changes. I have simply decided to step away from the nuclear industry.
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There is a deteriorating culture and lack of trust at CNL

The company is seriously mismanaged and experiencing financial struggles that are affecting productivity, the culture and job security. Management is very secretive about true long term goals and the true plan is not disclosed to current employees. The company is working very hard to downsize employees. There has been recent large scale layoffs with rumblings of more to come in the very near future. I do NOT recommend with the current state of affairs with CNL.
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lacking ethics, leadership

Wide range of work environments, as organization is very compartmentalized. Lots of corporate noise about ethics, transformation, safety and respect. Actual behaviour does not align with messaging. The site operating company exists to milk as much from their 10 year contract as they can, and don't seem to have any qualms about misrepresenting the success of their projects and initiatives. The key to a advancement is being willing to repeat any corporate spin without shame. "High Performing Organization" means layoffs. "Environmental Remediation" means creating rubble piles by tearing down buildings. "Safety Culture" means lots of paperwork and no ownership. I could go on. If you are a performer, be prepared to be obstructed at every turn. The place is still a bureaucracy. How you are treated will depend on who you work for. Some groups have managers that should never be put in charge of people. Bullies. Others have genuinely good people and competent leaders in charge. Management direction is schizophrenic as there seems to be a revolving door at the director level. The more junior you are, and the less you know, the better this place gets. Good pay for the area, adequate benefits, untested pension plans (cut off from government pension plans in 2018). If you have to take medical time off, be prepared for daily calls and demands to return to work from Morneau Shepell agents. They have a contract to harass employees back to work. DO NOT recommend for positions with IT, Supply Chain, Project Management, Health and Safety, Trades, Environmental Sciences. Most of the - 
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Challenging, highly regulated environment

Conflicting priorities inherent of the environment sometimes made work challenging. Process driven challenges and change management resistance was evident on a daily basis.
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Co-workers are amazing, the area is beautiful. Management was beyond terrible.

I enjoy working here but there is no job security and layoffs have already begun. Often it is impossible to advance due to abundance of unions and over regulation.
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Old fashioned man's club

Old fashioned trades atmosphere that favors men, non-questioning and nepotism. Only women that succeed are those willing to throw their fellow females under the bus.
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There is an unhealthy culture of friends and relatives with attitudes from a century ago. Somehow time has created a male dominated culture where even the women behave like crusty sailors. Be prepared for foul language, nepotism and management with no integrity. Free condoms handed out in health centre make their way to the many secluded buildings on site and displays of public affection common interpretations ofinterpretations
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Poor Morale

CNL Pinawa is a decommissioning project. This site has poor morale and high rate of turnover. The management style of this organization is pretty primitive. Management team not respectful. Not a happy place.
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Negative place to work

Negative work environment. Senior management doesn't seem to know what they are doing as the focus of the organization changes monthly. Pays well but not worth the poor leadership and working with disgruntled employees.
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CNL is contractor ran and over the last few years there seems to be a decline in morale and lack of respect and communication. This has made if difficult to get work done but have been able to attend lots of training.


Salary is okay


Contractor Operated
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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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