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Doing Business with CNL

Doing Business with CNL
Working in the Nuclear Industry

Doing Business with CNL involves a number of core programs that include quality, environmental, health, safety and security considerations that may not arise in other work environments.

CNL Annual Planning

CNL plans and manages work requirements through an Annual Plan of Work and Budget (APWB) that flows from strategic 5 and 10 year plans. The fiscal year of each APWB goes from April 1 through to March 31 of the following year. CNL project teams then complete their project plans including external contract support. These contract opportunities are then published in the Procurement Opportunities and awards section.

Framework Agreements

CNL seeks to establish off the shelf capabilities through strategic sourcing and Master Standing/Service Agreements whenever practicable to ensure best value for money, reduce turn-around time to contract on recurring work of similar scope and establish longer term relationships with selected Suppliers/Contractors.

CNL's Procurements

Competitive procurements are posted on MERX as Open or Defined Proponent. Open listings are visible to everyone searching the MERX website. Defined Proponent procurements are invitation only to a short list of Suppliers/Contractors who have been identified through market research, reputation, industry publications/contacts or previous work with CNL. Some procurements are Directed (Single/Sole Sourced) because of the very specific or narrow requirements of the service or goods.

Non-Disclosure or Confidentiality Agreements

Suppliers/Contractors may be required to sign such agreements when the information to be provided by CNL in the procurement process is sensitive, proprietary or confidential. Non-Disclosure or Confidentiality Agreements, if applicable, must be signed by the Supplier/Contractor prior to receipt of the procurement documents.

Forms of Contract/Legal Requirements

CNL is working towards a suite of standard and consistent Contract Models that cover the different types of contracts commonly used by CNL. These may be found under References and Forms.

Procurement Process

CNL uses a variety of procurement approaches each of which serves to meet specific operational requirements.

Contracts Used by CNL

The procurements result in a number of contract types, based on an assessment of the best fit for the operational requirement.

Competitive procurements

Competitive procurements over $25,000 are generally published through MERX ( Due dates are set for proponents to submit their proposal/bid and late submissions are not accepted.  Some procurements will have a mandatory Site Visit, for example construction procurements, where bidders are invited to review the scope and the physical location with the project delivery team.

Each procurement document is structured similarly – Invitation to participate, Instructions to Proponents, Scope, RFx Question Set, Terms and Conditions or Form of Contract, and Pricing Schedule. Additional schedules may be included depending on the type of procurement.

The RFx Question set outlines the full requirements and criteria against which the bid/proposal will be evaluated. Bids/proposals are evaluated both technically and commercially after it has been demonstrated that mandatory or threshold criteria have been satisfied. Mandatory/Threshold criteria might include a specific quality assurance program, previous experience with the same type of work/scope, the ability to post a performance bond, ability to meet insurance requirements etc. Evaluated proposals are then ranked by score.

Winning proponents are notified as the Preferred Proponent subject to final negotiation of the contract. Proponents that are unsuccessful are also notified with a letter of regret and the opportunity for feedback from CNL is available upon request.

If your company is interested in becoming a supplier to CNL, Register as a potential supplier.

Supplier Diversity

Supplier Diversity

CNL is committed to supporting small, medium, local and indigenous businesses where capabilities exist. CNL conducts a number of events each year that supports development of small, local and indigenous businesses. For more information please, see the Supply Chain events section.


Useful links:

CNL Sustainability Report – 2023

As Canada’s national nuclear laboratory, sustainability is integrated into all of the work we do, and all the decisions we make.  We are pleased to provide you with our annual Sustainability Report for CNL.

In pursuit of more sustainable operations and with the goal of demonstrating alignment with AECL’s Sustainability Strategy (CW-514100-003-000 Rev 1), CNL has identified key areas of environmental leadership, governance and social responsibility. This report brings together a summary of goals and achievements in each of these key areas, and helps to outline a future direction for a more sustainable CNL.

This document is available in both official language, and you are encouraged to share the document with any interested stakeholders, colleagues or community members.