September 18, 2001
The Canadian military should protect all nuclear power plants in this country 24 hours a day because of vulnerability to World Trade Center-type terrorism, says Energy Probe.
The Toronto-based watchdog group has asked Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, as well as Canada’s defence minister and solicitor-general, that nuclear power plants be protected around-the-clock from terrorist attacks.
“We’ve asked the Canadian military be deployed to protect the stations,” Energy Probe’s Tom Adams said yesterday.
Adams said a kamikaze-style terrorist attack on a Canadian nuclear reactor could spark an uncontrollable meltdown.
Adams said he doesn’t doubt terrorists could figure out how best to wreak massive destruction at a Canadian nuke plant – by crippling the cooling systems that jointly service four reactors at each station.
“We just have to make the assumption they know where the cooling pumps are, because it’s public knowledge,” Adams said. “If we could figure this stuff out, somebody who meant to do harm could figure it out.”
Ontario Power Generation, which operates the nuclear generating stations, would not comment on Energy Probe’s claims. OPG’s John Earl reiterated that “appropriate additional security measures” have been taken.
International intelligence analyst John Thompson said yesterday any past threat assessment of nuclear plants is “outdated.”
“The United States is deploying 50,000 troops to protect its infrastructure,” he said. “Canada should be doing the same thing.”