Imagine finding a little blue box in your mail sent to you from your local nuclear power generating station. In that box is a package of pills that you need to take in the event of a nuclear disaster. This is where the imagining ends and reality begins. This is not a scene from a movie or a novel. This is an actual emergency measure implemented and impacting several communities in Ontario.
In the fall of 2015 residents living in the area of the Pickering and Darlington Nuclear Power generating stations received packages of KI (potassium iodide) pills that they could take in the case of a nuclear accident at either generating station.
As a result of this mail-out questions and concerns were raised focusing on the level of emergency preparedness within the Toronto area in the case of a nuclear disaster.
The results were not comforting as cited in a follow up article published by The Toronto Star.
Without creating histrionic or hysterical responses to potential disasters, how can employers take emergency planning seriously, if the potential base for that disaster does not have its own emergency plans in place and up to date?
The benefit of emergency planning comes as a result of learning from the past and planning for a different outcome in the future. In this case the future consequences are not unpredictable nor are they too far away.
It seems that there is much more work that needs to be done and that a little box of pills may not be enough.
- If you were an employer in the area of a nuclear power generating station, what types of plans would you implement to safeguard your employees?
- As a Human Resources professional working in the field of nuclear power, what programs will you need to put into place to protect both employer and employee interests?
- As a member of the local community, what types of emergency information would you want to receive from a nuclear power generating station?