Statement by Denise Carpenter, President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association

March 14, 2011

OTTAWA (March 14, 2011) – “Our thoughts are with the people of Japan and their relatives in Canada during this terrible time, as well as with the workers at the Fukushima station for their tireless efforts to protect the people offsite.

Over the coming days and weeks you can expect to hear many varying opinions on the events in Japan and even on Canadian nuclear facilities.  Some will be based on fact and will contribute to a worthwhile discussion. Unfortunately, some of what you will hear may not be based on fact.

It’s important to remember the Fukushima plant was damaged, not as a result of any flaw in the reactor design, but from the largest ever earthquake in Japan’s history followed by a devastating tsunami.
The nuclear industry – in Canada and around the world – has a history of working closely together to share technical expertise.  We also have a history of examining operations and activities to ensure continuous improvements.

Every piece of equipment, human performance and emergency response procedure around the incidents in Japan will be scrutinized and analyzed by the world’s nuclear community. When we fully understand the facts surrounding these events, we will use those insights to make nuclear energy even safer.

It is important to put this situation into context with the Canadian nuclear power system. Canada’s nuclear industry has a strong safety record that spans almost 50 years. Our nuclear power plants are among the most robust designs in the world with multiple, redundant safety systems. The 71,000 workers in the Canadian nuclear industry are highly trained and qualified professionals in their fields.

Canada’s nuclear power plant operators have well-established and practiced emergency procedures that include emergency shutdown of the reactors.

Our goal at this time is to keep Canadians informed with accurate, timely information on the Canadian perspective as these tragic events unfold in Japan.  You can visit the Canadian Nuclear Association website at for updates and information related to the safety of nuclear in Canada.”

Facts about Canada’s Nuclear Industry

  • Canada’s nuclear sector is a $6.6 billion per year industry generating $1.5 billion in federal and provincial revenues from taxes, providing 71,000 jobs.
  • Nuclear generates 15% of Canada’s electricity, including 55% in Ontario.
  • Canada’s nuclear sector represents 150 firms and $1.2 billion per year in exports.
  • Canada provides over 50% of the global supply of medical isotopes for nuclear medicine used in over 50,000 procedures per day — 5,000 of those in Canada.
  • Canada’s nuclear electricity plants release virtually no emissions that cause climate change, smog or acid rain.
  • Nuclear power is safe and one of the highest monitored industries in Canada.
  • For almost 50 years, Canada’s nuclear industry has achieved an unparalleled record of safe, reliable and economic power generation.
  • Nuclear energy provides a clean and reliable source of power and is an important part of Canada’s clean energy portfolio.
  • The application of nuclear science also improves the health and well-being of Canadians through nuclear medicine and food safety technologies.
  • Innovation in nuclear science is also being applied to address a number of societal challenges such as public health and transportation.


For more information:

Erin Polka
Communications Officer
613-237-4262 ext. 101

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