Meeting Minutes: Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Advisory Committee to the Potassium Iodide (KI) Pill Working Group Meeting #1
- Opening remarks
- Roles and responsibilities of the CNSC Advisory Committee
- Discussion on the draft Operating Procedures
- Discussion on comments from the public review of the draft Terms of Reference
- Closing Remarks
Teleconference Dial-in Number: 1-877-413-4792
Conference ID number: 3114292
February 26, 2019
1:00 – 3:00 PM
1. Opening Remarks
Opening remarks were provided by the Director General (DG) for the Directorate of Power Reactor Regulations (DPRR) and the DG for the Directorate of Security and Safeguards (DSS) welcoming the members to the CNSC Advisory Committee to the Potassium Iodide (KI) Pill Working Group.
A round table was conducted for all members to introduce themselves and explain their interest in being a member of the Advisory Committee.
During the relicensing for the OPG Pickering Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), many questions were raised regarding KI distribution in the Pickering area. Specifically, there was a focus with respect to the plans in place for distributing KI within the 50 km Ingestion Planning Zone (IPZ). The KI working group was developed to provide clarity on the current plans in place for KI distribution, and subsequently the Advisory Committee was developed to capture the views and concerns from various key groups.
The Record of Decision (ROD) from the hearing included specific direction to establish the KI working group to specifically address KI distribution in schools within the IPZ. The ROD was published on the CNSC website following the development of the draft Terms of Reference (TOR). The CNSC is looking to update the TOR to better reflect the ROD.
CELA has a history of participating in CNSC hearings. Initially, they were focused on the Bruce and Darlington refurbishment where they began looking at the emergency planning. They felt that emergency preparedness needed improvements and began looking at emergency preparedness and plans for all Canadian NPPs and Chalk River. Chernobyl was brought up as an example of an event that shed light on the distribution of KI prior to, during, and following an event. They believe CNSC must be in the driver seat for the adequacy of safety and KI is something that must be in place and needs to be better understood.
The TCDSB has 7 schools within the 10 km primary zone of the Pickering NPP in which KI is already issued. They also have additional schools within the IPZ. They play a role in emergency preparedness by sending letters to parents/guardians for authorization and education purposes on KI.
The Municipality of Kincardine works with Bruce Power for support in distributing KI. KI is currently distributed to local schools and residences within the 50 km zone of Bruce Power. From a public safety perspective, they want to make sure the public is confident with the plans in place.
Bruce Power has accountability for emergency preparedness, and emphasized that as an industry, we need to be very thoughtful on how we proceed with KI distribution. Bruce Power focussed on increasing public confidence with respect to KI by considering where they wanted it available, where it made sense, and ensuring the appropriate communication tools were used to demonstrate how it benefits the community.
Dr. Novog is a professor at McMaster University and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Research Chair. He was also an advisory member to the recently updated Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP).
3. Roles and responsibilities of the CNSC Advisory Committee
CELA raised concerns over the roles and responsibilities of the advisory committee as depicted in Appendix A of the draft Operating Procedures; they felt that the operating procedures contradict the “advisory” role. CNSC reiterated that the members of the KI working group have a role and accountability for the implementation of an emergency preparedness program for Pickering NPP. Bruce expressed that they see the advisory group as being able to dig into the plans with more depth and articulate a more operationalized perspective.
4. Discussion on the draft Operating Procedures
CNSC wanted to reiterate that the TOR was developed prior to the ROD. The view at the time was to have a working group provide clarity on the existing plans for KI distribution. The ROD was later released and mentions the feasibility of distribution to schools within the IPZ, and direction to provide details plans for KI distribution in the event of an emergency. CNSC suggested having a two phase approach to address the ROD and indicated this would be discussed with the working group. Phase I would provide clarity and information on existing plans, and Phase II would focus on the feasibility of distributing KI to schools within the IPZ and detailed plans for KI distribution. The Advisory Committee will have opportunities to review the Phase I and II reports developed by the working group and have opportunities to meet face-to-face (and teleconferences) to discuss their comments and input ideas for improvement.
A question on expanding the KI working group scope to other NPP facilities was brought up. For now, the working group is focussed on Pickering as a result of the Pickering relicensing hearing. Following the Phase I and II reports there will be a better basis/framework that could be applied to other facilities as it will be action oriented and identify areas of improvements. Bruce agreed and emphasized that Phase II would need to focus on the ability to execute the plans.
Other items discussed on the operating procedures:
- CELA inquired about the membership of other civil society groups. CNSC indicated that those groups will have the opportunity to provide public comments to any reports produced by the working group.
- It was decided that any alternates of the advisory committee members can sit in on the meetings to observe and stay up to date on the project.
- Advisory Committee meetings minutes will be available to the committee (including their review of draft minutes), and CNSC will look into having the minutes publicly available on the CNSC website.
5. Discussion on comments from the public review of the draft Terms of Reference
CNSC went over the main themes from the comments received on the draft TOR.
CELA inquired about including health units in the working group; CNSC explained that their input will be coordinated through the MOHLTC representatives, and Public Health Units will have representation on the working group. They also inquired about the Registered Nurse Association; CNSC indicated that input from this group could also be coordinated through public review periods.
CELA also inquired about extending an invite to more people for the Advisory Committee Workshop. CNSC was not opposed but wants to balance practicality and ensure that the workshop is focussed and can effectively collect inputs.
CNSC reiterated that the scope needs to be revised to better reflect the ROD. CELA asked whether the TOR will be updated to reflect the two-phased approach that was mentioned earlier in the meeting. CNSC indicated that they will discuss this with the working group on how this will be handled in the revised TOR. For now, the working group is focussed on the existing plans, with a target deadline to have a report by May 2019.
With respect to "Phase I", Bruce Power indicated that they were not sure what new information could resurface that we (the industry) don’t already know. The input from the public has been provided, practices are underway and the working group will give input on the any deltas. The Advisory Committee can help streamline some of that input.
There was a question on whether the draft TOR could be amended. CNSC indicated that this is possible as a result of the comment disposition with the working group.
With concurrence from working group members, the CNSC will look into having the working group meeting minutes available to the advisory committee (and look at the possibility of posting minutes on the CNSC website).
CELA requested the TOR include a methodology section to better understand if there is any technical work being conducted. CNSC indicated this could be covered in Phase II, while making sure all referenced material is available to the public.
CELA again brought up that Greenpeace should be involved in the workshop. CNSC indicated that if the workshop gets expanded "rules of engagement" must be developed to ensure it is focussed and productive.
6. Closing Remarks
CNSC emphasized the importance of public engagement for this working group process and thanked all the advisory committee members for their participation in providing comments on the draft TOR and their input during the meeting.
The following actions were identified for CNSC:
- Complete the disposition of the draft TOR public comments (target deadline: 2 – 3 weeks)
- Update TOR based on comment dispositions and the ROD
- Prior to a workshop, conduct another teleconference with the Advisory Committee
- CNSC to look into a web portal on the CNSC website as a repository for the documents referenced in the KI Working Group Reports
- Date modified: