Canada’s national nuclear laboratory participates in Synergy Challenge 2018, a full-scale nuclear emergency exercise in New Brunswick
Chalk River, ON – October 31, 2018 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce its recent participation in Exercise Synergy Challenge 2018, a full-scale, multi-tier and multi-jurisdictional emergency exercise hosted by New Brunswick Power (NB Power) and New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (NBEMO). Held at the Point Lepreau Generating Station in Maces Bay, New Brunswick, the exercise was designed to test emergency preparedness, response and recovery capabilities, as well as decision-making by NB Power, NBEMO and emergency response partners, including CNL.
With over 1,000 people representing more than 35 agencies and organizations participating in Synergy Challenge 2018, the two-day exercise was the first of its kind in Canada to not only focus on nuclear emergency response, but also what’s known as recovery – the phase of an emergency when the situation has stabilized. CNL’s Radiological Assessment Team (RAT) worked alongside federal emergency response teams to provide decontamination and radiological monitoring services and support in response to the mock emergency.
“While Canada’s nuclear industry has an exceptional safety record, and the chance of any large-scale incident is highly unlikely, it’s important that we regularly exercise our emergency response capabilities to ensure Canada is fully prepared for these types of situations,” commented Cynthia Williams, CNL’s Vice-President of Health, Safety, Security and the Environment. “Synergy Challenge provided CNL with the opportunity to test the emergency plans and procedures of our RP program, and the deployment of our team of well-trained response staff. Overall, the exercise went very well, and should give people confidence in the industry’s ability to respond to these events, however unlikely they may be.”
As part of the Federal Radiological Assessment Team (FRAT), CNL set up its new Emergency Monitoring and Dispersal Area (EMDA) in nearby St. George, NB. This mobile decontamination and monitoring equipment allowed the team to conduct simulated road surveys in vehicles equipped with radiation detection systems in and around the Point Lepreau Generating Station. In a real emergency, this information would be crucial to the identification of radioactive material, which helps guide the response to the event.
“CNL’s EMDA is a new innovative system for emergency radiological detection and management,” commented Lyle Jessup, CNL’s Radiation Protection Services Manager. “The design enables the unit to be set up and put to use anywhere that it is needed, either at the Chalk River Laboratories campus or any other location across Canada. This new equipment expands our radiological response capabilities and improves existing national radiological response capabilities with the Federal Radiological Assessment Team, enabling CNL to better protect Canadians should a nuclear event occur.”
For more information on CNL, including its Emergency Preparedness program, please visit www.cnl.ca.
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Director, Corporate Communications