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Ontario’s nuclear emergency plan – inadequate, says Greenpeace

Ontario’s long-awaited new nuclear emergency plan falls short, Greenpeace says Ontario has updated its plan for dealing with nuclear emergencies for the first time since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, The Star.com, By , Dec. 28, 2017 Ontario has updated its plan for dealing with potentially deadly emergencies at nuclear power plants for the first time since the 2011 Fukushima disaster forced the evacuation of 70,000 people in Japan.

The 173-page effort follows criticisms from provincial auditor general Bonnie Lysyk earlier this month that the nuclear response blueprint has not been changed since 2009 to reflect lessons learned elsewhere.

“Ontario has three nuclear power facilities and 18 operating reactors, which makes it the largest nuclear jurisdiction in North America and one of the largest in the world,” she wrote in her annual report.

“Plans need to be regularly updated with current information and to reflect the best approach to respond to emergencies so they can be used as a step-by-step guide during a response,” Lysyk added.

The new plan takes into account radiation emergencies that could stem from reactor accidents, leaks during the transportation of radioactive material, explosions and even a satellite crashing on nuclear plants at Pickering and Darlington east of the heavily populated Greater Toronto Area or at the Bruce reactors near Kincardine on Lake Huron…….

The plan was released a week after the government put out a request for experts to conduct a technical study of it, making a mockery of the process, said the anti-nuclear group, Greenpeace.

“It’s ass backward and incompetent,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, senior energy analyst for Greenpeace, a vocal critic of the government’s nuclear energy program.

There is little in the updated nuclear response plan to prepare for a major disaster, he added, such as emergency zones that are too small given the potentially large scale of nuclear disasters.

“While other countries have strengthened public safety since Fukushima, it’s taken the Ontario government six years to maintain the status quo,” said Stensil.

“Other countries are preparing for bigger accidents.”……….

Toronto city council passed a motion in November calling on the province to prepare for more severe accidents and expand delivery of anti-radiation potassium iodide pills beyond the current 10-kilometre zone around nuclear power plants.

The city also requested a study on the potential impacts of a major nuclear accident on the Great Lakes, which are a source of drinking water for millions in Canada and the United States, awareness campaigns for Toronto residents on how to prepare for a nuclear accident at Pickering or Darlington, just east of Oshawa.https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2017/12/22/ontarios-long-awaited-new-nuclear-emergency-plan-falls-short-greenpeace-says.html

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December 30, 2017 - Posted by | Canada, safety

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