News Release

CNL to ‘ramp up’ hiring of science and technology staff 

Canada’s national nuclear laboratory announces plans to add nearly two hundred research personnel to support growing demand for nuclear science and technology 

Chalk River, ON, October 23, 2017 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, announced today its plans to hire nearly two hundred additional research staff over the next three years to accommodate the company’s anticipated growth in nuclear science and technology services. The hiring will be carried out to support CNL’s Long-Term Strategy, an ambitious 10-year plan that will position the organization as a global leader in nuclear science and technology, during which CNL’s research staffing is projected to grow by more than 20 per cent.

“Over the past two years we have looked very carefully at our capabilities, our skill sets and people and identified those areas in which we are uniquely equipped to respond to global challenges in health, in energy, in climate change,” commented Dr. Kathy McCarthy, Vice-President of Research and Development with CNL. “As CNL enters this period of organizational growth, our biggest challenge will be to augment our high-calibre research and development team, build strength in new capability areas, and effectively replace those who are planning to retire.”

CNL is working through a period of significant transformation, highlighted by an investment of more than $1.2 billion over ten years to modernize the facilities and infrastructure at its Chalk River Laboratories. The revitalized site will support the nuclear research needs of the Government of Canada and evolving science and technology needs of the Canadian and global nuclear industry, and is designed to spur commercial growth as the company transitions to alternate areas of work. CNL intends to pursue a variety of new technologies and services as part of its transformation, including the deployment of small modular reactors in Canada and the use of hydrogen to decarbonise the country`s transportation sector.

“We are seeing strong growth in the delivery of commercial work, and we are reaching into new markets in nuclear services. As we continue to grow we’re going to need the right personnel to build on this momentum, and help us carry out this work,” explained Corey McDaniel, Vice-President of Business Development and Commercial Ventures."

To prepare for this change, CNL has established a human resources strategy that identifies workforce requirements and builds a roadmap to navigate these shifts in employee resourcing, including staffing changes related to the closure of the NRU research reactor. For 60 years, NRU has enabled cutting edge research and life-changing medical radio-isotope production; CNL has made it a priority to retain, retrain and redeploy the approximately 400 personnel who will be displaced by the closure of the reactor in March 2018.

“With the pending closure of NRU, CNL has worked hard to ensure that the employees who work in the reactor have a range of career options, and are able to make the decision that best suits their individual needs. To date, over 95% of those employees most immediately affected by the closure have been retrained and redeployed, or accepted offers to explore new career paths following the reactor closure,” added Esther Zdolec, Vice-President, Human Resources. “As we transition the facility into a longer term ‘storage with surveillance state’ additional staff will become available for redeployment across CNL.”

Overall, the combination of increased research staffing, organizational changes from NRU, and voluntary departures and attrition is expected to result in over 800 vacancies that CNL will need to fill over the next three years. 

“CNL is growing its science and technology activities, and we need to align our capabilities with the needs of our customers and with our long-term vision for CNL; that starts with having the right people in the right jobs, doing the right work. We are working hard to attract new talent, and grow and retain the talent we have here already with the aim of repositioning the company to better serve the needs of our customers,” adds Mark Lesinski, President & CEO.

For more information on working at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, to review the HR Strategy & Plan or to apply to vacancies, please visit


About CNL

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

For more information on the complete range of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories services, please visit or contact



Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications, CNL