Ontario Nuclear Emergency Field Sampling Exercise
A.G. Scott (Ontario Ministry of Labour)
Part of the Ontario response to a Nuclear Emergency is the Assurance Monitoring Group (AMG), which includes all Federal and Provincial agencies that measure radioactivity in air, drinking water and foods, and control the movement of foods into the retail distribution chain. The lead agency is Ontario Ministry of Labour - Radiation Protection Service. The AMG carried out a major field exercise on 14 - 16 September 2004, involving 3 radiation laboratories and 8 sample collection teams from 3 agencies. The scenario was a large, short-term release from the Fermi II nuclear power plant in Michigan depositing radioactivity on the ground and crops in Ontario. The exercise tested:- Use of aerial gamma surveys to plan the field collection of drinking water, milk and agricultural products; Staffing and controlling the field sample collection teams; Sample handling, analysis and reporting procedures at the Radiation Protection Service Laboratory in Toronto, plus the Health Canada Radiological Monitoring Laboratory in Ottawa and the Mobile Nuclear Laboratory. Lessons learned included requirements for Nuclear Emergency sampling plans to include a seasonal inventory by distance and priority of agricultural commodities and processors. Water sampling plans should include "not-drinking" surface water and sewage sludge. The Laboratories should expect at least 100 samples on the first day of operation and 200-250 samples on following days.