Dear friends,

Greenpeace released a report today that assesses the adequacy of nuclear safety regulations and the design weakness of the reactor designs proposed for Ontario. I think this report will be helpful to those of you in Alberta and New Brunswick seeking to have a better understanding of federal nuclear safety requirements.

You can read my blog on the report here:

You can read and submit Q & A on the report here:

And you can get the full report here:

Below youll find the press release.


Shawn-Patrick Stensil, energy campaigner



Nuclear safety guidelines protect the nuclear industry not Canadians, says report

Media Release - 26 June 2008

Toronto, Canada Greenpeace today released a new report that documents serious safety concerns with all three reactor designs being considered for Ontario and that shows safety standards for nuclear reactors have been watered down to allow new reactors with design flaws to be approved.

"All the reactors designs Ontario is considering are vulnerable to terrorist attacks and are flawed raising a significant threat of a catastrophic release of radiation," said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, an energy campaigner with Greenpeace. "To make matters worse, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which is supposed to protect Canadians, has watered down its regulations which will make it easier to approve one of these bad reactor designs."

Greenpeace is concerned that Ontario government's recent creation of a "super-ministry" of energy and infrastructure increases the desire to use weak regulations to hastily build flawed reactors.

The report, by Dr. Gordon Thompson an expert on nuclear risk, assesses the potential for accidents from the three reactor designs under consideration for construction in Ontario, and finds each could release large amounts of radioactivity into the environment following a terrorist attack or accident.

The report also reviews the safety standards of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Dr. Thompson's report says that the CNSC has weakened its safety requirements for new reactors since the firing of CNSC president Linda Keen by altering its safety goals in a manner that will help reactor vendors to claim that they can meet those goals.

Greenpeace is concerned that during its environmental reviews on proposals to build new nuclear plants at the Bruce nuclear site on Lake Huron and the Darlington site on Lake Ontario the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) will ignore the real threat of a significant accident that would release radiation at a new nuclear station by relying on the CNSC's inadequate safety goals.

"The CNSC's licensing requirements provide no protection from terrorist attacks or accidents and expose Canadians to the devastating impacts of a radioactive release," said Stensil. "The CNSC is putting the needs of the nuclear industry ahead of the safety of Canadians. It would be irresponsible to approve flawed new nuclear reactors in Ontario based on the weak nuclear safety standards that exist now. None of the current designs should be approved."

The report, commissioned by Greenpeace, has been submitted to the CEAA as part of its consultation on the draft environmental assessment guidelines for Bruce Power's proposal to build new reactors.


The three reactor designs being considered by Ontario are: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's (AECL) Advanced CANDU reactor (ACR); Areva's Evolutionary Pressurized Reactor (EPR) and Westinghouse's AP-1000 design.

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