New Brunswick to test emergency plans

30 August 2018

NB Power and the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organisation (NBEMO) are to carry out Synergy Challenge 2018, a full-scale exercise to test the province of New Brunswick's readiness to respond to a simulated nuclear emergency at the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant.

NB Power's 29 August Open House at its joint emergency operations centre gave residents the opportunity to learn about emergency preparedness at Point Lepreau and about Synergy Challenge 2018 (Image: @NB_Power)

Canada's nuclear regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), requires a full-scale exercise takes place every three years to test the province's readiness in response to a large-scale emergency. Synergy Challenge 2018, which will take place over 3-4 October, will be the first time a Canadian nuclear power plant has entered the recovery phase of an exercise focused on the final stage of emergency management.

About 1000 people representing more than 35 agencies and organisations are expected to take part in the multi-tier and multi-jurisdiction event, which will test emergency preparedness, response and recovery capabilities, decision-making and collaborative effectiveness among NB Power, NBEMO and emergency response partners. It aims to validate current on-site and off-site nuclear emergency plans.

The exercise will incorporate knowledge gained from Exercise Intrepid, the province's last full-scale nuclear emergency exercise which took place in 2015. It will also consider operating experience from other nuclear power plant exercises and lessons learned from recent recovery efforts in New Brunswick.

Point Lepreau, a single-unit 680 MWe pressurised heavy-water plant, began commercial operation in 1983. As well as being the first Candu 6 to begin commercial operation, it was also the first reactor of that design to undergo full refurbishment in a four-year project completed in 2012. It is currently licensed to operate until 2022.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News