Emergency Preparedness Exercise at Pickering Nuclear
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Pickering – Ontario Power Generation (OPG), in partnership with more than 30 organizations, is participating in a large-scale emergency preparedness exercise Dec. 6 and 7 at Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. Exercise Unified Control (ExUC) will test each organization’s emergency response plans, and ensure all participants are able to work together effectively to safeguard the health and safety of the public in the extremely unlikely event of a nuclear emergency. In addition, these exercises and plans provide benefits and readiness for all types of emergencies the region might face.
Partner organizations include OPG, The Regional Municipality of Durham, City of Toronto, City of Pickering, and various provincial and federal government agencies, including the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Canada’s nuclear regulator.
In addition to the exercise, more than 100,000 households and businesses within a 10-kilometre radius of both Darlington and Pickering Nuclear Generating Stations will receive an emergency preparedness awareness kit through the mail this month. This awareness kit outlines what residents should do in the highly unlikely event of a nuclear emergency, and provides some helpful emergency tools for families.
OPG’s nuclear stations are designed with multiple safety systems and are staffed by station personnel who are extremely well trained. In the more than four decades that nuclear energy has served Canada’s energy needs, no member of the public has been harmed because of a radiation emission from a nuclear power plant.
“Our top priority is to ensure we have a robust and effective plan in place to safeguard the health and safety of the public,” said Glenn Jager, OPG Nuclear President and Chief Nuclear Officer. “The focus of Exercise Unified Control will be to test how each organization’s respective response plans work together. Our goal, as always, is to ensure the health and safety of our employees, the public and the environment.”
“While the possibility of a major incident at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station is very low, we collectively recognize the importance of being thoroughly prepared,” said Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan. “This exercise demonstrates Ontario Power Generation’s commitment to transparent and safe operations by testing our collaborative emergency response and ensuring that a comprehensive emergency plan is in place.
"The Region is pleased to be one of many organizations participating in this exercise," said Roger Anderson, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer. "It provides an opportunity for staff to test the effectiveness of our emergency response plans, in co-ordination with our municipal, provincial and federal partners. Exercises, such as this one, simulate real-life experiences, helping to improve overall emergency preparedness and response efforts.”
“Exercises like these strengthen Ontario's ability to respond to large-scale emergencies, said Ross Nichols, Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management Ontario. “Bringing all of our partners together to test our readiness ensures our emergency system is co-ordinated, responsive and effective.”
“Emergency preparedness is a regulatory requirement”, said Peter Elder, Vice-President and Chief Science Officer at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. “Operators perform station-level exercises and drills several times per year. Nuclear power plants are required to conduct large integrated emergency exercises every three years.”