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4. Emergency Response

  • Issued: September 2014
  • Content last reviewed: September 2014

As part of its role in emergency preparedness under the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP), members of the Radiation Protection Monitoring Service (RPMS) participated in Exercise Huron Challenge IV (Trillium Resolve) in October 2012. This was a five day scenario-based functional exercise designed to practice interoperability, plans and procedures while responding to a natural disaster impacting the Bruce Power facility and the North-East Lake Huron region.

Exercise Huron Challenge IV (Trillium Resolve) was a complex multi-day exercise which extended over a wide area. The exercise was led by Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) working in close co-operation with Bruce Power. Approximately 50 organizations participated in the exercise. This included emergency response groups at the municipal and regional level, together with representatives from provincial and federal government ministries.

The series of events that made up the exercise were designed to allow the community of partners to gather, share, learn and train, thus ensuring that all levels of government and stakeholders were prepared to respond to a regional natural disaster affecting the local infrastructure and the Bruce Power site.

The third day of the exercise began with notification from EMO that a significant event had occurred overnight at the Bruce Nuclear generating station. As required by the PNERP, the members of the Assurance Monitoring Group (AMG) were notified to assemble at the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) in order to make preparations in response to the incident. The RPMS laboratory was put on alert and routine operations were suspended. As the exercise played out throughout the day updates were provided on the situation at Bruce Nuclear and the course of action being taken. A significant resource which was unveiled during this exercise was the use of the federally based e-map system. This software is capable of displaying aerial and ground based radiation survey measurements which proved to be a valuable tool in identifying potential regions of contamination. This was of great assistance in determining the areas where field sampling teams could be deployed that would be safe for them to enter and collect samples. Simulated food samples were collected and sent to the RPMS on the fourth day of the exercise, however, these were not analysed as part of the exercise.

A review conducted after the exercise, noted the following as key successes of Exercise Huron Challenge IV. The design, scenario injects, organizational support (logistics, facilities, communications, etc.) had fully supported and met the AMG’s requirements which resulted in an exercise that ran very smoothly and tested the group’s logistic capabilities. The exercise play had shown great collaboration among all members of the AMG. This exercise reinforced the importance of having constant communication and updates as an emergency evolves in order to allow the development of sound strategies as issues arise. Lastly, a strong commitment to the AMG plan and the PNERP was demonstrated by our federal colleagues, led by Health Canada, through their major deployment of technical and human resources.

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ISSN 1929-2899