Arbitrary boundaries put Whitby-Oshawa residents at higher risk from nuclear accident

(Whitby-Oshawa): “Does the Liberal government care about the safety of my neighbours in Whitby-Oshawa?” asks GPO candidate Stacey Leadbetter.

“So many residents of our community have been left out of the government’s mailing of potassium iodine (KI) pills. These pills protect us from thyroid cancer if there is a radiation leak – we need to make sure that everyone at risk will have them.”

The GPO is calling on the government to extend the pre-distribution zone to residents living within 30-50 km of the Pickering, Darlington and Bruce nuclear generating stations. 

Governments in Europe like Switzerland pre-distribute KI pills to residents living within a 50 km radius of a nuclear facility. New Brunswick pre-distributes KI pills in a 20 km radius. In Ontario, only those residents living within a 10 km radius of nuclear stations receive them. 

On November 4 2015, the Regional Council of Durham passed a motion asking the province to consider the feasibility of extending the 10 km primary zone for nuclear emergency planning.

“Will Kathleen Wynne step up, listen to science and protect the residents of Whitby-Oshawa at risk from a nuclear radiation leak?” asks Mike Schreiner, GPO leader. 

“People’s safety is too important to make this stuff up on the fly,” adds Schreiner. “We desperately need an evidence based, public review of nuclear emergency plans. This is especially important when determining the radius of the primary zone and the pre-distribution of KI pills.”