NukeWorker Forum

Facility & Company Information => Canada => Topic started by: absentminded on Apr 08, 2015, 06:37

Title: Chalk River
Post by: absentminded on Apr 08, 2015, 06:37
Sometimes the bad and the ugly outweigh the good. Little indignities,professional insults and slights, chip away at your soul.
You try and stay focused and do good work. You remember why you are here.
But after a while it begins to ware on your self respect and its time to go.
Title: Re: Chalk River Labs
Post by: hamsamich on Apr 08, 2015, 07:20
I talked to a buddy who went to Bruce when they had the alpha problem.  He was getting paid way more than Chalk River is paying. If I remember correctly he said it looked good on paper but that he was taxed by Canada at an extremely high rate and his unemployment was also affected negatively.  He made pretty good $$$ but said he probably wouldn't go back unless the pay rate was higher.  So those things would have to be addressed I think before the floodgates open.  Maybe someone who actually worked in Canada recently will comment...
Title: Re: Chalk River Labs
Post by: Nuclear NASCAR on Apr 08, 2015, 08:13
Title: Re: Chalk River Labs
Post by: Content1 on Apr 09, 2015, 02:05
I worked at chalk river from May until September 24, 2014.  I finally had to leave early as I  was having health problems.  You do a lot of walking and they don't have the ability to deal with some older folk with such problems.  They are the nicest people to work with and working on that 1950 vintage reactor was an honor to see how something so  well designed is still in service.  The frustrating part was transferring money home as the Canadian dollar is only about .78 to American.  The scenery is something like in a movie of the past.  These are a nice group of people who are guarding our northern border.  A cop caught me speeding and she just gave me a warning to watch my speed.  In spite the problems I had, it was the job of my life and you should try Canada at least once in your career.  I rented a 2 room basement with internet and cable for $650, and that was only because I desired privacy and an extra computer room, you can easily find them for $500/month only 5 miles from the entrance in the nearly town.   With the per diem at $750/week, you can see how you can come out ahead.  The site coordinator is Canadian and bent over backwards trying to keep me there in spite of my health problems.  Because I stayed there 3 months, I got nearly all the taxes back when I filed my return.  They have plenty of work, you really should give Chalk River a chance.  One more thing.  We only worked 37.5 hours per week.  I had so much time on my hands, I used the time to read/study on how to become a writer and I started 4 works of fictions novels while I was there.
Title: Re: Chalk River Labs
Post by: Content1 on Apr 09, 2015, 09:41
As they say here. Right on.  Hope you are doing well. We worked together briefly at B.

Don't recognize you by pseudo name.  We both agree, however, it is a great experience to work in Canada.  Compared to  some of the understaffing and rush to send you home in the states, you can get a lot of work there.
Title: Re: Chalk River Labs
Post by: DTOD on Apr 10, 2015, 01:38
Go to Chalk River and you are limited to 37.5 hours a week, are paid in Canadian money which means you make less per hour, need a tax adviser to deal with foreign income (which is a flag for a IRS audit), and you are responsible for the costs of travel in and out. On the plus side, the people are mostly friendly, the plant has a unique history  and the area is scenic...also when you enter Canada they may expect you to discuss in some detail the DUI that you got 43 years ago (true story). It isn't hard to see why they are having a hard time getting people.   
Title: Re: Chalk River Labs
Post by: jowlman on Apr 15, 2015, 02:03
I worked Chalk River from 8/31/14 until 12/19/14. I liked the area, the work was fine and the people I worked with were great. It is true that between the hours, the exchange rate and the fact that none of the time counts towards unemployment does mean that it is not really a money maker. Despite this I will still be going back this summer,mainly because it does still pay better than unemployment. That's what it is boiling down to for me. If you have the chance to work outage or most non outage situations in the U.S., you're better off taking that. If not, then you'll make more than being unemployed and you won't lose any money. You may also learn a few things and see some sights along the way. ;D
Title: Re: Chalk River Labs
Post by: SCMasterchef on Apr 15, 2015, 03:34
I worked at Bruce for all of 2013.  I worked for a Canadian body shop for the entire period.  Out of every pay check that I received I paid into Unemployment on my own to ensure that if I had to claim unemployment I could get it.  I did collect for a short period of time.  Didn't lie to them and had no trouble.  If these contract you folks are working under are with BHI then isn't BHI paying your unemployment out of your pay checks.  Are they paying you in the US in US funds?
Title: Re: Chalk River Labs
Post by: jowlman on Apr 15, 2015, 10:07
Absentminded, are you Joe G.?
Title: Re: Chalk River Labs
Post by: Rennhack on Apr 16, 2015, 12:17
Someone should write a FAQ for Americans working in Canada, and have us pin it.
Title: Re: Chalk River Labs
Post by: Content1 on Apr 16, 2015, 07:58
I don't want to spoil the good deal people actually have, it is something better for you to discover.  On an average 7.5 hour day, we follow the Canadian workers and usually work until morning break, they take "20 minutes" break in the morning in the morning and afternoon.  Since no food is allowed across the RCA, you  walk back to the lunch room and wait to get through security, a half-hour lunch turns into an hour.  You even have time to take a shower before lunch and before you go home. They are OK that there is transit time and don't stand there with a stop watch.   There are exceptions to this for special assignments, but most of the time, including a morning meeting to pre job brief, the work, your not working very long stretches as compared to the states where you can get stuck most of the 12 hour day.  You walk everywhere so they are a healthy bunch who work there.  They document most everything in handwritten logs and the supervisors actually read them.  It is a slower pace, not in competition with the natural gas industry to squeeze every penny out of you.  Canadians are the nicest people to work for and the BHI rep is a caring and helpful to explain some of Canada's eccentricities.  It pays a whole lot better than unemployment and you can have a life outside of work.  It would be good to check it out before everyone discovers what a good deal it is and then all the positions get perpetually filled.
Title: Re: Chalk River
Post by: agantt on Apr 06, 2016, 11:27
I'm preparing to venture out on my first contract job as I spent 24 years at Savannah River, I'm heading to Chalk River and I wanted to know if anyone knew of online study/practice test? How is their test compared to DOE Core? Looking forward to experience just kind of nervous about their test.
Title: Re: Chalk River
Post by: jowlman on Apr 08, 2016, 02:16
Their test isn't any more difficult than the NUF or CORE. It is different in that it tests on their way of doing things and using their terms. They will give you a weekend review before giving you the test and they give you two tries provided you don't totally screw up on the first try.
Title: Re: Chalk River
Post by: agantt on Apr 27, 2016, 09:31
Thanks Jowlman, appreciate the info. I have the study materials they sent, having to unlearn some of the DOE material that was locked in my head for so long and learn new way of seeing things seems o be the toughest part. Looking forward to the job. Thanks again!
Title: Re: Chalk River
Post by: PhysBro on Nov 21, 2016, 09:21
I have been seeing a few ads pop up for health physicist at Chalk.

Is this a good position? How would a recent health physics grad get into a job like this?