MPP Marie-France Lalonde said the government is consulting with the public on updating its response plan.
Queen’s Park, May 18 | Ontario needs a better plan to deal with large-scale nuclear accidents, says a coalition of environmental groups. From evacuation procedures to protecting drinking water — even public awareness in communities near nuclear plants — the province’s response is full of gaps, said Shawn-Patrick Stensil of Greenpeace, on behalf of the 40 organizations.
“With more than half of Ontarians living near a nuclear station that could be harmed in the event of a nuclear accident, Ontario is unprepared for a large nuclear emergency on the Great Lakes,” he said at Queen’s Park on Thursday, adding the province needs to model a plan based on an accident the size of the one in Fukushima, Japan.
Community Safety Minister Marie-France Lalonde said the government is consulting with the public on updating the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP).
“The safety and security of every Ontarian is our top priority. Nuclear power has been the backbone of Ontario’s electricity supply for over 40 years and we are proud that our CANDU reactors have an impeccable safety record,” she said in a statement. “Nevertheless, we have developed a comprehensive plan — the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP) — in partnership with municipalities and the federal government, to ensure that Ontarians are safe in the extremely unlikely event of a nuclear emergency” that is updated every four years.
“As part of this ongoing review process, we are incorporating lessons learned from past nuclear emergencies such as Fukushima, to ensure that we are using the most up-to-date … practices.”
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the government “needs to look really hard at what some of those recommendations are and assure people — particularly those living around the nuclear facilities, but also assure the rest of us — because many of those facilities are on our Great Lakes.”
Ontario is responsible for emergency planning at nuclear stations in Pickering, Darlington, Bruce Power in Kincardine, Ont., Chalk River Laboratories in Laurentian Hills/Deep River, Ont., and FERMI 2 in Amherstburg, Ont.
By Kristin RushowyQueen’s Park Bureau, Thu., May 18, 2017, as posted at