International Atomic Energy Agency Emergency Preparedness Review Mission to Canada

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) undertook an Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) mission to Canada from June 3-13, 2019, led by a team of international experts.

The purpose of this independent review was to assess Canada's level of preparedness for nuclear and radiological emergencies at a nuclear power plant based on the IAEA safety standards and international best practices. It also identified opportunities to increase Canada's ability to protect public health and safety.

After completing the EPREV mission, the IAEA published a press release commending Canadian best practices and identifying opportunities for further strengthening Canadian arrangements. The final report was published in February 2020. In response, Canada developed a national action plan to address the EPREV recommendations, and in 2022, requested an EPREV follow-up mission to assess the progress.

The EPREV follow-up mission took place June 26-30, 2023. The final report for the follow-up mission will be considered in ongoing efforts to strengthen the arrangements to prepare for and respond to nuclear and radiological emergencies.


The IAEA undertakes EPREV peer-reviewed missions to Member States by request.

In February 2017, Canada requested that the IAEA carry out its first Canadian EPREV mission, which took place in June 2019. Given that nuclear emergency preparedness and response is a shared responsibility in Canada, the scope of the EPREV mission included federal authorities, provinces with operating nuclear power plants (Ontario and New Brunswick), and the nuclear power plant operators.

Canada was the first G7 country to request an EPREV mission, highlighting the Government of Canada's commitment to protecting the health and safety of Canadians.

Partners participating in the 2019 EPREV mission included:

Federal partners:

Ontario Partners

New Brunswick Partners

Nuclear Power Plant Operators

Other Non-Government Partners

Summary of Canada's Action Plan

Canada recognizes the importance of international peer reviews and is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians, and the environment.

The 2019 EPREV mission confirmed that Canada has a mature nuclear emergency preparedness and response program at all levels of government and with the nuclear power plants, and is ready to respond to a nuclear emergency in Canada. The mission to Canada provided valuable insights for Canada as well as the EPREV team members. The IAEA commended Canada on several international best practices. Opportunities were also identified to further strengthen Canada's ability to prepare for, and respond to, nuclear and radiological emergencies.

Furthering the commitment to protect the health and safety of Canadians, an Action Plan was developed to address the findings of the EPREV final report in a timely manner, and prepare for the IAEA's EPREV follow-up mission. Implementing Canada's Action Plan required collaboration from all levels of government to address areas such as nuclear security, nuclear emergency protection strategies, off-site waste management and arrangements for the termination of a nuclear emergency. Specific initiatives in the Action Plan included:

Hazard Assessment

  • Consider the impacts of nuclear security events to on-site and off-site emergency response
  • Revise arrangements to coordinate on-site and off-site responses when concurrent with a nuclear security event
  • Conduct exercises to test arrangements

Overall Protection Strategy

  • Review current protective action decision-making procedures
  • Elaborate on decision-making guidance documents and tools for the justification and optimization of the protection strategy
  • Update the Canadian Guidelines for Intervention During a Nuclear Emergency to cover the full set of protective actions

Off-Site Radiological Waste Management

  • Formalize a national waste management working group
  • Formally outline roles and responsibilities
  • Develop formal waste-management arrangements

Arrangements to End an Emergency and Transition to Recovery

  • Host an IAEA workshop on emergency termination
  • Publish Canadian guidance document on nuclear emergency recovery
  • Identify roles and responsibilities for emergency termination and recovery
  • Develop arrangements, criteria, and procedures for ending a nuclear emergency and transitioning to recovery

This Action Plan has been implemented in collaboration with all partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, as well as the nuclear power plant operators.

Canada's response: 2019 International Atomic Energy Agency emergency preparedness review

Summary of the 2023 follow-up mission

During the follow-up mission, the review team interacted with government officials and representatives of response organizations at all levels, as well as with staff of New Brunswick Power and Ontario Power Generation.

The review team observed a commitment at all levels to emergency preparedness and noted that Canada has made significant progress in developing and revising emergency arrangements since the 2019 EPREV mission, even while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The review team identified the following accomplishments in Canada's Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) framework:

  • All the recommendations and suggestions that were formulated in 2019 are closed, either on the basis of completed actions, on the basis of progress made and confidence in effective completion, or on the basis that it is no longer relevant.
  • A software tool is being developed to enable the most effective and efficient use of available monitoring resources for the response to a nuclear or radiological emergency in Canada.
  • A Recovery Management Organization would be established in the event of a nuclear or radiological emergency based on an associated guidance document which has been coordinated among relevant governmental departments.

More information

Page details

Date modified: