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Health Concerns

Introduction to the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan (FNEP)

Aim of the FNEP

The aim of the FNEP is to provide the structure for federal nuclear emergency preparedness and response in order to:

  • protect the public from immediate and delayed health effects due to exposure to uncontrolled sources of radiation;
  • minimise the impacts of a nuclear emergency on property and the environment; and
  • maintain public confidence in the ability of responsible authorities to protect public health.

Content of the FNEP

The FNEP describes the federal government's preparedness and coordinated response to a nuclear emergency. Specifically, the FNEP:

  • outlines the federal government's aim, authority, emergency organisation and concept of operations for handling a nuclear emergency;
  • describes the framework of federal emergency preparedness policies, the planning principles on which the FNEP is based, and the links with other relevant documents;
  • describes the federal responsibilities of participating organisations that have a role to play in preparing for a nuclear emergency; and
  • contains provincial annexes that describe the interface between the federal and provincial emergency management organisations.

The FNEP and the Provinces

Health Canada coordinates federal operations with provincial and territorial operations as required. The FNEP includes provincial annexes for Ontario, Qubec, and New Brunswick as they have nuclear power stations, and with Nova Scotia and British Columbia as they have ports which are visited by nuclear-powered vessels. The FNEP also supports the provinces and territories without specific annexes as required.

Scope of the FNEP

The FNEP could be implemented in the following nuclear emergencies:

  • An emergency at a nuclear power plant in Canada
  • An emergency at a nuclear power plant in the United States or Mexico
  • An emergency involving a nuclear-powered vessel in Canada
  • Other serious nuclear emergencies or potential threats in North America that require a multi-departmental or multi-jurisdictional response
  • A nuclear emergency occurring outside of North America