Emergency Preparedness at Bruce Power

Bruce Power is prepared for all types of possible emergency events, including the unlikely event of a nuclear emergency. While emergency preparedness is part of Bruce Power’s Operating Licence for its generating facilities, Bruce Power recognizes the importance of maintaining a robust and multi-faceted emergency response program as part of its number one value of Safety First.

Bruce Power’s emergency response program includes complement staff on site (who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week), on-call and call-in staff who are available to support the site during an emergency.

Regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

The effectiveness of Bruce Power’s emergency response program is continuously assessed through a series of drills and exercises. Every year, the company’s emergency response organization undertakes nearly 50 drills and at least one major exercise, which is evaluated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The CNSC has consistently rated Bruce Power’s emergency response capabilities as fully satisfactory.

Every three years, Bruce Power also participates in a provincial nuclear emergency exercise, which includes internal and external stakeholder participation to test Bruce Power’s response to the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan. The most recent provincial exercise was Exercise Huron Endeavour in October 2022.

Emergency and Protective Services

Bruce Power has an integrated internal organization which brings all of its emergency response capabilities (Security, Fire and Emergency Management) under a single command structure. This organization is Emergency and Protective Services. About 10% of Bruce Power’s workforce lies within this organization. Combining these highly effective organizations improves our depth when responding to any situation. This type of organization is considered a best practice and aligns with provincial and federal agencies who adopted the integrated emergency response model.

Enhanced Emergency Response

While Bruce Power continues to deliver safe, affordable and reliable electricity for the people of Ontario, the company has strived to be an industry leader in emergency preparedness. Over the years, Bruce Power has developed industry-leading emergency response capabilities.

In the wake of the tsunami and nuclear incident at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011, Bruce Power added a number of enhancements to the site not only to comply with new regulatory requirements, but to ensure Bruce Power is prepared for emergencies beyond just nuclear emergencies. The Fukushima event showed the importance of emergency planning to consider all hazards.

Some of the enhancements Bruce Power made post-Fukushima include:

  • Five new fire trucks that can be used to pump water into the stations’ fueling system in the unlikely case that the depth of safety systems no longer work. Two of these are located on site and three are stored off site on high ground, in a building that is safe and dry.
  • Nine new back-up generators, which are stored off site on high ground, in a safe and dry location.
  • A new, state-of-the-art Emergency Management Centre (EMC) at the Visitors’ Centre allows Bruce Power to liaison with off-site stakeholders, while maintaining communications and monitoring capabilities with on-site staff.
  • Point-to-point radio communications that work independent of the installed systems, as a fail-safe communication tool.
  • Post-Fukushima enhancement made to Bruce Power’s off-site monitors, making the system a world-class remote monitoring system that operates 24/7 via solar power.
  • Satellite backup communication systems put in to the emergency operations centres in both Bruce A and Bruce B, which provides a third back up for emergency communications.
  • A state-of-the-art fire training facility that provides staff with real-life situations in a scaled version of the station.
  • Secured the first emergency AM broadcast test licence in Canada to broadcast on an emergency frequency that can be accessed on a simple battery-operated radio. The transmission can last for 12 days and is capable of recharging with its solar panel.

Fire Training Facility opportunities

In 2015, Bruce Power opened its doors to the new 23,000-square-foot Emergency and Protective Services (EPS) Training Facility on site. This state-of-the-art training facility took 18 months to build and offers an exceptional training experience.

The building features propane fuelled props, producing fire and smoke all controlled by a control-room switch; outdoor fire simulators which include a car, forklift and transformer; thermal cameras to capture video footage for lessons-learned; a 50-foot tower for high-angle rescue training; and a mock-up turbine generator. The environmentally-friendly building features clean burning props which meet or exceed all regulatory standards.

If your municipal fire department would like to explore training opportunities at our facility, please email emergencyservicestraining@brucepower.com.

Community Emergency Management

The Community Emergency Management Coordinator for Kincardine maintains a call-down list for all households (approximately 35-40) within a three-kilometre radius of the site perimeter in case emergency response action is necessary. The area is also served by warning sirens. People in this area are provided information regarding the required response should these sirens sound and given annual reminders.

Potassium Iodide distribution

Bruce Power, in partnership with the Grey Bruce Health Unit and regional municipalities, made Potassium Iodide (KI) tablets available to all residents, schools and businesses within a 50-kilometre radius of Bruce Power in 2015. Those within a 10-kilometre radius received the tablets, while those between 10-50 kilometres from Bruce Power received coupons and information on KI.

Prior to the pre-distribution, KI has always been available to residents free of charge. The pre-distribution of KI tablets was advocated by the CNSC, and replaced having the tablets stored at one central location at the Municipal Reception Evacuation Centre in Kincardine.

Potassium Iodide, when taken as instructed, blocks the thyroid from radioactive iodine in the unlikely event of a radiation release.

For all residents, schools and businesses within a 50-kilometre radius to Bruce Power, distribution pick-up points have been made available for you to pick up tablets should you choose. Visit Be Prepared Grey Bruce Huron for pick-up locations.

Detailed Emergency Plan

The Municipality of Kincardine’s emergency response plan, including designated emergency evacuation routes and zones and designated media, can be found on the Municipality of Kincardine’s website and more information about personal emergency preparedness can be found on the Be Prepared Grey Bruce Huron website.

For more information about Kincardine’s emergency response, contact the municipality’s Community Emergency Management Coordinator at kinfirecemc@bmts.com or 519-396-2141.