MERIDEN — Canberra Industries Inc., a developer and manufacturer of radiation detection solutions, will move its high-end detector production to Oak Ridge, Tennessee beginning in January 2017.
The move was prompted in part by what one company official called a challenging state business climate.
Company management notified its 300 employees this week that the plant at 800 Research Parkway will no longer manufacture germanium-detectors and related instruments. The move affects about 120 employees, said Bud Sielaff, Canberra vice president of global marketing. Some will relocate to Oak Ridge, others will transfer within the Canberra operation and some will be terminated. The move begins in January and should be concluded by June 2017.
The production move will leave behind Canberra’s corporate offices and administrative functions at the 171,057-square-foot headquarters.
“We want all our employees to be on board to help support the move,” said Sielaff.
Improving efficiencies was one reason for the production shift. Canberra also wanted to be closer to Tennessee’s technology hub, and away from a challenging state business climate. Sielaff pointed at the state’s corporate business taxes, personal property taxes and other demands on businesses as factors in the decision.
Canberra announced a $1.2 million expansion at its Oak Ridge facility in 2011 when it announced it was moving its safeguards and military product development and manufacturing to the new plant, according to the Oakridger.com. The expansion promised 45 additional jobs in the Oak Ridge region.
Oak Ridge Community Development Director Kathryn Baldwin said Friday she was told Canberra would be expanding its facility on the existing site, but no plans had been filed in her office.
“I knew something was in the works,” Baldwin said.
City Economic Development Director Juliet Burdelski was aware of Canberra’s plan, but because the company has given itself a year to relocate its production operations there is no deal yet to fill the remaining space.
Canberra is also closing on a sale from its former parent Areva to Mirion Technologies. Sielaff said the acquisition has no short term bearing on the relocation.