Gentilly or Not To Be: Hype not Truth!

September 14, 2012

Below is a well-crafted response, by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, to an article in Le Nouvelliste about the forthcoming movie “Gentilly or not to be.” The movie is being widely criticized as a shock-doc and, given the false claims described and debunked below, it’s not hard to understand why.

Check back for our response to the G-2 movie early next week after we’ve seen it. The movie airs on Télé-Québec on Monday September 17.

Response to the article entitled “La centrale nucléaire est-elle dangereuse?” published in the September 7, 2012 edition of Le Nouvelliste.

September 7, 2012

The upcoming release of the documentary Gentilly or Not To Be recently reported by Le Nouvelliste could unfortunately raise unfounded concerns about the safety of Gentilly-2 and the nuclear industry in general.

Here are some examples of falsehoods spread to raise people’s interest for the film:


Falsehood #1:

Fact: The Regional Public Health Directorate confirms cancer rates are normal around Gentilly-2. The fluctuations recorded by the documentary filmmakers for the years 2000–2004 are normal, temporary and related to cases located in a relatively remote area of the plant. In fact, such fluctuations are regularly observed in the population and should not be interpreted blindly and recklessly.


Falsehood #2: Women of childbearing age should not live near nuclear power plants because of the dangers related to radioactive releases.

Fact: Minimal releases from nuclear power plants do not pose a danger to human health, including fetuses and young children. This has been demonstrated by many Canadian and international studies.


Falsehood #3: A German study found that children living near nuclear power plants are at a higher risk of developing leukemia resulting from radioactive releases.

Fact: The authors of the study and the German Commission on Radiological Protection have determined that the presence of clusters (or concentrations) of leukemia cases near some German nuclear power plants had nothing to do with the radioactive releases. In fact, some years clusters are observed in different regions of Germany whether they have nuclear power plants or not.


Falsehood #4: All Canadian nuclear waste will be stored in Quebec.

Fact: None of the 19 communities that are currently part of the selection process for the establishment of a nuclear waste storage site in Canada are in Quebec.


Described in the media as a shock film, Gentilly or Not To Be promises to induce anger because of its lack of rigor and the falsehoods repeated by spokespersons of anti-nuclear groups. It seems that the documentary filmmakers have fallen into the trap.

The one and only role of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is to regulate the nuclear industry to protect Canadians and the environment. Rest assured that we would not allow Hydro-Québec to continue to operate Gentilly-2 if it was not safe.


Michael Binder
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

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