Meeting Minutes: CNSC Advisory Committee Update Teleconference
- Opening remarks
- Review and acceptance of CNSC Advisory Committee Teleconference Meeting Minutes (February 26, 2019)
- Terms of Reference
- Update on the Potassium Iodide Pill Working Group Activities and next steps
- Discussion on tentative topics identified for the Phase I Workshop
- Closing Remarks
August 29, 2019
2:00 – 4:00 pm
1. Opening Remarks
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) provided opening remarks and welcomed participants to the second CNSC Advisory Committee Teleconference.
CNSC reiterated the purpose of this teleconference for updating the Advisory Committee on the next steps for the CNSC Potassium Iodide (KI) Pill Working Group and Advisory Committee; in anticipation of a Working Group workshop in November 2019.
The following documents were provided to the Advisory Committee members in advance:
- Agenda – CNSC Advisory Committee Update Teleconference August 29, 2019
- CNSC Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes from February 26, 2019
- Terms of Reference (posted to the CNSC website)
- Tentative Phase I Workshop Topics to Discuss with the CNSC Advisory Committee
2. Review and acceptance of CNSC Advisory Committee Teleconference Meeting Minutes (from February 26, 2019)
The draft Meetings Minutes from the Advisory Committee Teleconference Meeting on February 26, 2019 were accepted by the Advisory Committee members.
Action 1: CNSC to translate the meeting minutes from February 26, 2019 and post them to the CNSC Website.
3. Terms of Reference (TOR)
The TOR underwent public review from December 24, 2018 to February 14, 2019.
During the public review period, on January 3, 2019, the Commission posted its detailed Record of Decision for the renewal of OPG’s Power Reactor Operating Licence for Pickering which provided direction to the KI Pill Working Group.
The following major changes were made to the TOR to reflect public comments and Commission direction:
- The Mandate (section 1) was revised to reflect a two-phased approach:
- Phase 1 (unchanged from original) – CNSC commitment to provide clarity on existing plans and associated responsible authorities for distributing KI pills; and available public information on KI pills.
- Phase 2 (new) – Commission direction to consider feasibility of pre-distribution of KI pills to all schools in the Ingestion Planning zone (IPZ); and to establish clear and detailed plans for the distribution of KI pills throughout the IPZ, if necessary, following Phase 1.
- Upon completion of Phase 1, the Working Group will proceed to Phase 2.
- Membership (section 2) was revised to ensure Public Health Units and Emergency Management Coordinators from all municipalities located in the IPZ and the City of Peterborough, which is not in the IPZ but has assigned roles and responsibilities in an emergency at Pickering, are represented in the Working Group. Health Canada was also added in consideration of their responsibilities in emergency management.
Section 3 entitled Meetings was revised to include a commitment for all Meeting Minutes of the Working Group to be made publicly available. Meetings Minutes will be posted on the CNSC website following concurrence by Working Group members and translation.
Question: The Advisory Committee Members inquired if the Meeting Minutes of the Working Group Phase I workshop would be available prior to the public comment period on the Phase I report. CNSC indicated that this may be possible; however it would be dependent on other factors such as for concurrence by Working Group members and translation. The Advisory Committee indicated that they would not require the French version and inquired whether they can be provided with the Meeting Minutes in advance of being posted to the CNSC website.
Action 2: CNSC to discuss with the other Working Group members on providing the Advisory Committee members with the English Working Group Meeting Minutes in advance of being translated and posted to the CNSC website.
- Deliverables (section 4) was revised with the following three changes:
- The Working Group is responsible to draft reports for both Phase 1 and 2, and provide an opportunity for 30 day public comment on both reports.
- The CNSC is responsible to notify Indigenous groups, with potential or asserted treaty rights and title, of the public review periods and coordinate any meetings with interested groups.
- With regards to the CNSC Advisory Committee, section 4.3 now specifies the development and concurrence of Operating Procedures for the Committee, and public posting of all Meeting Minutes.
Comment: Advisory Committee members emphasised that these are important changes and inquired whether the CNSC would follow-up with Indigenous Groups via telephone to ensure they received the notification letter. CNSC indicated that they will follow-up with the Indigenous groups to confirm they received the correspondence.
There were additional discussions relating to the outreach to Indigenous groups surrounding the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station. Bruce Power indicated they did outreach and can share best practices on this engagement. Municipality of Kincardine indicated they did outreach with local Mennonite and Amish communities and can also share best practices.
Comment: Advisory Committee Members highlighted the importance of comparing how Bruce Power communicated information out to 50 km versus how Darlington/Pickering communicates information out to 50 km. The CNSC indicated the purpose of Phase I is not to perform a comparative analysis, but indicated that information on public education will be included in the Phase I report.
4. Update on the Potassium Iodide Pill Working Group Activities and next steps
• Meetings with KI Pill Working Group Signatories
The CNSC has been holding meetings since September 2018 (face-to-face and teleconference), every 2-6 weeks, with the KI Working Group Signatories which include: CNSC, OPG, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), and Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM).
• Meetings with all KI Working Group Members (Signatories, Health Canada, Emergency Management Coordinators (EMCs), and Public Health Units (PHUs))
Following the sign-off of the TOR in May 2019, formal invitations to join the Working Group were sent on June 7, to Health Canada and municipal Public Health Units and Emergency Management Coordinators. A teleconference with all KI pill Working Group members was conducted on August 15, 2019.
The purpose of this teleconference was to provide an opportunity for all Working Group members to introduce themselves; review expectations and responsibilities; address any questions; and discuss next steps regarding the Phase I Workshop (tentative topics) scheduled for November 2019.
As indicated in the TOR, the Meeting Minutes for these Working Group meetings will be made publicly available through the CNSC website.
The next teleconference with the Working Group members is scheduled for September 2019.
Question: The Advisory Committee inquired about whether there would be an opportunity for direct engagement between the KI pill Working Group and the Advisory Committee. CNSC indicated that any comments/questions from the Advisory Committee can be communicated to the CNSC who are in a position to liaise between the two groups. Depending on the specific comments or concerns raised, the CNSC can coordinate further discussions, as necessary.
• CNSC KI Public Webpage
The CNSC webpage for the KI working group was launched on June 14, 2019 (URL: http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/emergency-management-and-safety/potassium-iodide-pill-working-group) This webpage currently provides general background information on the KI Pill Working Group, project milestones, the signed TOR, information on the CNSC Advisory Committee, and quick facts on KI pills.
Going forward, this webpage will be used as a repository of information and will continue to be populated with information and documentation related to the KI Pill Working Group. This will include the KI Pill Working Group deliverables (e.g. reports, meeting minutes, etc.), as well as links to websites and information provided by Working Group members.
Question: The Advisory Committee members inquired about whether they can be provided with an update as new information is added to this webpage. They indicated this will be a good opportunity for them to also leverage their social media platforms for sharing new information.
Action 3: The CNSC to provide updates to the Advisory Committee members as new information is added to the CNSC KI Pill Working Group webpage.
5. Discussion on tentative topics identified for the Phase I Workshop
The Advisory Committee members were provided with an advance copy of the tentative Phase I Workshop Topics. The purpose of this document was to provide the CNSC Advisory Committee with topics that have been discussed for inclusion in the Phase I Workshop, and solicit their input.
Accident progression and emergency response actions
This topic is intended to give Working Group members who may not have a strong technical background in nuclear, with a brief background of Nuclear Power Plants, accident progression, Defence in Depth, and Emergency Response Actions.
The background information will be limited to an expected progression of a design basis accident (DBA). CNSC emphasized that this topic will not focus on any specific accident scenario but is focused more generally on assuming KI distribution would be triggered.
Provincial response and protective action development (Sub-topic: Background information on the use of KI pills for an emergency)
This topic will focus on the development and background information on the Ontario Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan and the use of KI pills in an emergency.
Question: Is the scope of this topic limited to the provincial plans? CNSC indicated that Health Canada is a Working Group member and would be able to provide additional information from a Federal perspective.
Availability of KI Pills in the IPZ for the vulnerable population and the whole IPZ population (Sub-topic: Confirmation on the amount pre-distributed as well as the available stockpiles to be distributed within the IPZ, if warranted, in the event of an emergency at Pickering)
This topic will consider the current status and volume of KI pills pre-distributed within 10 km (the Detailed Planning Zone (DPZ)); and the status and volume of available stockpiles for the entire population within the IPZ.
Comment: There should be a second topic to identify what needs to be done for the IPZ going forward. CNSC reiterated that Phase I is focussed on the existing and current plans in place. Future changes would not be considered at this time. Phase II provides an opportunity for changes to be considered.
Question: It is unclear where the recommendations for future improvements will be presented, i.e. can recommendations be captured in Phase I or is this out of scope? The differences between Phase I and Phase II is understood by the Advisory Committee members; however, they raised concerns that Phase I does not meet the direction by the Commission to develop a plan for KI pill distribution. CNSC confirmed that before developing a plan it is imperative to understand what is currently in place. After Phase I is complete it will be more clear where work may need to be completed going forward. There will also be an opportunity during the public comment period for the Phase I report to collect recommendations from the public as well as the Commission prior to Phase II. The Advisory Committee suggested that during the public comment period it should be very explicit that the Working Group members focused on current plans and not potential recommendations for improvements; and to encourage the public and the Commission to provide feedback for recommendations. The CNSC indicated that although the focus of Phase I is to provide clarity on current plans, in conducting the workshop and developing the Phase I report, members may propose recommendations to be included.
Distribution of KI in an emergency (pathway, timing, and availability)
This topic relates to the hierarchy and interdependencies of plans from various organizations as well as the execution of these plans and associated considerations.
Question: Members asked for clarity on whether the scope is limited to the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station or will it also consider the current plans in place for Darlington, Bruce Power, and Point Lepreau. CNSC confirmed the focus of the Working Group is on Pickering, and that national practices are included in Topic 8 below.
Municipal level plans for distribution of KI within the IPZ (Sub-topic: Availability at reception centers)
This topic will consider the municipal level plans within the IPZ (York, Peel, Toronto, Durham, Kawartha Lakes) as well as the municipal level plans for reception centers beyond the IPZ (City of Peterborough).
Question: Aside from the content of the plans/documents, members asked what other factors will be considered, e.g. will the dates of the plans be looked at to confirm they are up to date. CNSC confirmed that the dates of the documents will be considered, as well as their availability to the public and their security classification. It is important to be mindful of the security classification for some of the documents, and be able to explain why certain information cannot be made publicly available.
Comment: Some members raised concerns over the level of caution that is used when it comes to confidentiality and security of documents and plans. Bruce Power emphasized the importance of exercising this type of caution from a public engagement perspective. The CNSC reiterated that if documents cannot be made publicly available the justification will be communicated.
Working level plans and procedures for Public Health Units and Emergency Coordinators.
This topic refers to lower level plans and procedures that are referenced in municipal level plans (Topic 5).
Comment: Members reiterated that it is important to ensure that there is a sufficient level of coverage in these plans and procedures. Members indicated that through their own independent reviews that some documents were not available and/or did not exist. CNSC indicated that the Phase I report will clearly outline which plans were considered and the availability of these plans for the public.
Available Public Information on KI Pills (Sub-topics: Facilitate review of education and emergency information available in jurisdictions; Overall information that is available and discussion of strengths and potential areas for improvement)
The intent of this topic is to collect available public information on KI pills that are provided by Working Group members’ jurisdictions and cite this information on the KI Pill Working Group website in order to enhance public accessibility.
This topic will also include a review of the information for strengths and potential areas for improvement that can be discussed in the Phase I report.
Comment: CNSC indicated that OPG and the Municipality of Durham Region showed interest in this topic and want to promote and share information on outreach activities. CNSC also mentioned that Working Group members requested that information communicated to First Responders also be included in the Phase I report.
International best practices (Including national practices)
This will include a discussion on both international and national (Bruce and Point Lepreau) practices.
Comment: CELA indicated that they have conducted reviews for emergency planning for CNSC hearings/meetings, and offered them as a useful resource to identify where information wasn’t readily available to the public. This would be a useful reference when comparing the plans in place for different Canadian Nuclear Power Plants. The CNSC will review the intervention submitted by CELA for the Pickering licence renewal.
Additional items that were discussed:
- The CNSC indicated that the Workshop will also involve a tabletop exercise to play out the different plans in place and have an open discussion with the organizations involved.
Advisory Committee members suggested that plans for carriers who would be responsible for distributing/transporting KI out to 50 km should also be considered. CNSC indicated that the Advisory Committee should provide the CNSC with any feedback and/or suggestions of the tentative Workshop topics. CNSC will communicate and discuss this feedback at the next Working Group teleconference (scheduled for September 2019). CNSC will also liaise any comments back to the Advisory Committee from the Working Group.
Action 4: Advisory Committee members to provide comments on the tentative Workshop topics within the next two weeks. CNSC will liaise any feedback between the Advisory Committee and the Working Group.
- Question: An Advisory Committee member raised a question on why the TOR did not include a review of the effectiveness of OPG’s public awareness strategies. Specifically, OPG Pickering was directed by the Commission in the Pickering licence renewal Record of Decision to review the effectiveness of their public awareness strategies. CNSC confirmed that this comment was dispositioned for the TOR, and indicated that since it was direction provided to OPG only, it would be completed separately from the KI Pill Working Group.
6. Closing Remarks
CNSC thanked the Advisory Committee members for their engagement in the second CNSC Advisory Committee teleconference.
Action 5: CNSC to draft Meeting Minutes for this teleconference and send for review to all Advisory Committee members by September 12, 2019. Members will have 10 business days to comment following receipt of the minutes (comments due by September 26, 2019).
The next CNSC Advisory Committee teleconference will be scheduled for November or December 2019 after the Working Group workshop in order to provide an update on the development of the Phase I report.
Following this, a face-to-face workshop will be coordinated to discuss the draft Phase I report during the public review period.
The following actions were identified from this meeting:
- CNSC to translate the Meeting Minutes from February 26, 2019 and post them to the CNSC Website.
- CNSC to discuss with the other Working Group members on providing the Advisory Committee members with the English Working Group Meeting Minutes in advance of being translated and posted to the CNSC website.
- CNSC to provide updates to the Advisory Committee members as new information is added to the CNSC KI Pill Working Group Webpage.
- Advisory Committee members to provide comments on the tentative Workshop topics within the next two weeks (due by September 12, 2019).
- 5. CNSC to draft Meeting Minutes for this teleconference and send for review to all Advisory Committee members by September 12, 2019. Members will have 10 business days to comment following receipt of the minutes (comments due by September 26, 2019).
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