Plant security - Canadian Nuclear Association

Plant security

Canada’s nuclear industry is a leader in uncompromising security. Though Canada is a peaceful country, and its nuclear operations are used for peaceful purposes, the presence of nuclear materials and the importance of nuclear reactors to the power grid and the economy could make them enticing targets.

GURKHA by Terradyne

Canadian nuclear power plants are secured by vehicles such as the GURKHA, Terradyne’s signature tactical vehicle, typically used by law enforcement and military forces. Source: Newswire.

In recognition of this threat, nuclear facilities in Canada are extremely secure – protected 24-7 by a number of measures, including armed response teams and armored vehicles on site.

Detailed information about nuclear security is restricted. More broadly, however, the requirements for Canada’s nuclear industry include:

  • annual threat and risk assessments;
  • onsite armed response forces at major nuclear facilities;
  • enhanced security screening of employees and contractors, involving background, police and security checks;
  • enhanced access control to nuclear facilities;
  • uninterruptible power supplies in place for alarm monitoring and other security systems; and
  • contingency planning, drills and exercises.

All security plans for Canadian nuclear facilities are reviewed and approved by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). After the events of September 11, 2001, the CNSC enhanced security at major Canadian nuclear facilities, in accordance with recommendations by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Security measures are tightest at Canadian nuclear facilities because they represent a point of potential threat; however, the Canadian nuclear industry takes a holistic view of preventing compromise at any point in the nuclear supply chain, from mining to disposal of spent fuel. Though the security measures have been developed over time in response to potential threats, no breach of the physical, personnel, or information security of Canadian nuclear facilities has ever happened.