Jobs and the Economy
Canada’s nuclear industry is an economic engine, offering high-quality jobs to skilled individuals, and revenue for provincial and federal governments. The industry also has excellent potential for growth.
Jobs in Canada
According to a 2019 MZConsulting study prepared for the CNA and the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries, the total number of jobs created by the nuclear industry today in Canada is 76,000.
The refurbishment of Ontario’s nuclear reactors contributes to this employment engine, as the province is expected to spend about $25 billion over 15 years on extending the life of these power plants. These are high-quality jobs. About 42 per cent of these jobs require university degrees and 47 per cent are highly skilled technical jobs, including the various trades. These jobs are helping nuclear in Ontario to contribute to decades more clean, reliable electricity.
Types of jobs in nuclear
Canada’s four operating nuclear plants in Ontario and New Brunswick employ a diverse set of people, including control-room operators, engineers and technicians. However, the industry’s supply chain spans the country. Mining operations, mainly in Saskatchewan, require not only miners, but also metallurgists, analysts and many other professions and trades. Milling and refining operations in Ontario require precision operations, as do the manufacturers of parts for nuclear reactors, located across the country.
In addition to nuclear power, Canada is a leader in nuclear research and technology. For example, Canada’s medical isotope industry creates 8,500 jobs.
The nuclear industry is one of the most regulated in the world. Both provincial and federal governments employ a host of inspectors and health and safety specialists. These workers ensure that every aspect of operation — from mining to storing spent fuel — keeps our land and our people safe.
Supplying 15 per cent of Canada’s electricity is the basis for stable careers in a fascinating field. But the nuclear industry does more than keep the lights on, and it has projections for an exciting future.
Increasing concern about climate change is making zero-emission nuclear power more attractive than ever, both to Canada and to countries we export to. Moreover, a new generation of small modular reactors is imminent and could see a surge of new applications for Canada’s many remote communities and off-grid industry projects.
At the same time, a large cohort of nuclear workers is nearing retirement, which offers excellent prospects to young, skilled individuals seeking vibrant careers.