Public and employee safety has been a primary goal both in the design and operation of Canadian nuclear generating stations. The nuclear industry in Canada can proudly say no member of the public has ever received a harmful dose of radiation from a Canadian reactor.
OPG, and regional and municipal governments work hand-in-hand with the province in planning, practising, and providing public information on nuclear emergency preparedness.
In the unlikely event of a nuclear emergency, OPG, local governments and the province implement emergency response plans. Likewise, it is important for the public to be aware of what to do in the event of an emergency
OPG also owns 65 hydroelectric stations and 240 dams throughout Ontario. These facilities are inspected, assessed, monitored and maintained in accordance with Canadian Dam Association standards. OPG has developed a reputation as a world leader in dam safety.
OPG works closely with our host communities, conservation authorities and provincial agencies, as well as with a wide range of stakeholder groups, on emergency planning, watershed management, and flood response. We meet with emergency responders and stakeholders on a regular basis to ensure they are familiar with local hydroelectric dams and generating stations, and the procedures that are followed in an emergency, such as a flood or dam failure. Emergency responders also participate in drills of those procedures. It’s worth noting that neither OPG nor its predecessor company has ever had a dam failure.
Everyone has a role to play
Ontario Power Generation
OPG’s first responsibility is to ensure its reactors are operated, maintained and designed in such a way that accidents won’t happen. If an accident occurs, our responsibility is to make sure it is controlled and radiation releases are minimized. We are also responsible for the safety of our employees. Watch the video below and learn how OPG ensures the safe and responsible operation of our nuclear facilities.
Province of Ontario
The Province of Ontario has overall responsibility for managing the off-site response to nuclear emergencies. Emergency Management Ontario, an agency of the provincial government, is responsible for the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Plan and public safety during nuclear emergencies. If a nuclear emergency were to take place, the provincial government would determine the proper level of public action.
Region of Durham
The Region of Durham, through the Durham Emergency Management Office, and the local municipalities all have emergency plans in place to implement the provincial plan. Importantly, it is their emergency responders, police, fire and ambulance crews who make sure the emergency plans are implemented properly.
Residents near nuclear facilities are responsible for being informed, and knowing what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency. If an emergency were to occur, the province will alert people through a combination of sirens, automated telephone messages and radio, television and social media alerts in your area.
If you hear sirens, follow three simple steps:
- GO – inside and turn on your television or radio.
- LISTEN – to the media reports.
- FOLLOW – instructions from the province.
As in any emergency, residents should remember to stay calm and don't take action, such as evacuate the area, unless advised to do so by authorities.
While the chance of a severe nuclear emergency is extremely remote, being prepared in advance and knowing what actions to take can better protect your personal safety.
OPG’s emergency preparedness planning brochure:
Emergency management plans: