In keeping with the nuclear industry’s philosophy of continuous improvement, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is reviewing and updating its emergency preparedness requirements for Canada’s nuclear generating facilities. Following an initial round of consultations, on June 23, the CNSC welcomed interested stakeholders, including Bruce Power, to further discuss improvements being proposed in regulatory requirements for nuclear emergency preparedness and response.
While a number of improvements were discussed, media coverage focused on the pre-distribution of iodine thyroid blockers (KI pills). Bruce Power supports having an effective means of pre-distribution of KI as an extra layer of protection in the unlikely event of a radiological release. Education of the public on the proper use of these KI pills should be a key component of this program in Bruce Power’s view.
In the event of a nuclear emergency, provincial authorities would be responsible for, among other things, deciding which protective and precautionary measures will be implemented. One of these measures could include the direction to take KI pills. Potassium iodide (KI) may be used to help protect the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine that may be released into the air during a radiological emergency. Currently, the municipality of Kincardine has a supply of KI pills which could be issued at the direction of the region’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Emergency Preparedness is an area of strength for Bruce Power and the entire Canadian nuclear industry, and one where we continue to make improvements. Canada’s nuclear power program has an exemplary safety record with over 50 years of occupational and public health and safety and is a leader in the industry worldwide. Canada’s nuclear industry is highly monitored, stringently regulated and continuously improved through the daily efforts of qualified professionals who are committed to ensuring public safety.