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Strengthening Ontario's Nuclear Preparedness

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Strengthening Ontario's Nuclear Preparedness

Province Releases Updated Nuclear Emergency Response Plan

Ministry of the Solicitor General

Ontario has updated its Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP) Master Plan. The updates make the plan more transparent and accountable, increase alignment with national and international standards, and enhance emergency planning.

The province collected feedback from the public and organizations to ensure that proposed changes to the plan reflect current knowledge in the area of nuclear emergency preparedness, and keep families and communities safe. An advisory group, made up of national and international experts in nuclear safety and emergency management, reviewed the feedback and provided recommendations on how best to incorporate it into the revised plan.

The updated plan now includes:

  • A Contingency Planning Zone, clarifying how local protective actions could be implemented if needed
  • Updated descriptions of accident scenarios, including severe accidents
  • Clear descriptions of key emergency response activities for various accident scenarios
  • Requirements to regularly review the plan, and complete public consultation
  • Guidelines for protective actions, roles and responsibilities for stakeholder organizations, and updated training and exercise requirements consistent with national and international standards
  • A more detailed rationale behind key features of the plan, including planning zone sizes.

These changes will ensure Ontario's emergency planning and response to nuclear emergencies incorporates lessons learned from recent international emergencies and best practices from leading experts.

A stronger nuclear plan is part of Ontario's Emergency Management Action Plan that will better protect public safety by establishing improved accountability and transparency, greater support for municipalities, effective leadership and governance, and enhanced capacity to respond to large-scale emergencies.

Quick Facts

  • The PNERP is mandated by section 8 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act which requires a provincial emergency plan for emergencies arising in connection with nuclear facilities.
  • Ontario coordinates offsite nuclear emergency planning, preparedness and response for five nuclear facilities. The corresponding designated municipalities are responsible for developing municipal nuclear emergency plans: Durham Region and Toronto (Pickering nuclear generating station), Durham Region (Darlington nuclear generating station), Kincardine (Bruce Nuclear Generating Station), Laurentian Hills/Deep River (Chalk River Laboratories), Amherstburg (Fermi 2).
  • The PNERP also addresses the possibility of an offsite response to nuclear emergencies occurring outside Ontario’s borders and radiological emergencies such as transportation accidents.
  • Onsite security of nuclear facilities is the responsibility of the federal government and facility operators.
  • The proposed planning basis and recommended changes to the PNERP were posted for public review and comment on the Environmental Registry in spring 2017 for 75 days.

Additional Resources


“I want to thank the advisory group for their sound advice, as well as all of those who gave their input to help us develop a strong nuclear emergency response plan. This updated plan will help ensure we are more prepared than ever for emergencies so that our families and our communities are safe.”

Marie-France Lalonde

Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“The updates to the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan will ensure consistency with domestic and international recommended practices, and reflect current knowledge in the area of nuclear preparedness. The updated Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan will increase Ontario’s level of nuclear emergency preparedness, strengthening our ability to respond to a nuclear accident.”

Ross Nichols

Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management

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