Ontario Power Generation Exercise “Unified Response” (ExUR)

May 2014

Project Summary

International Safety Research (ISR) was tasked with coordinating the development of Exercise Unified Response (ExUR), a three-day exercise designed to challenge all organizations responsible for responding to a nuclear emergency at Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Darlington Nuclear Generating Station (DNGS). ExUR spanned a wide variety of response functions and started with the initial indications of a problem at the plant and subsequent notification of response organizations, through the activation of emergency operations centers and the actions required to protect the public, including public messaging, to the first steps of the recovery phase, when the emergency has been stopped and life must return to normal. ExUR involved over 54 organizations and thousands of players responding to a major nuclear emergency at DNGS as if it were a real event.

On behalf of OPG, ISR organized the Joint Exercise Planning Team, guiding it through the 18 month planning process that focused on designing the exercise and its scenario to accommodate each participating organization’s objectives.

ISR organized a series of workshops and conferences designed to prepare participants for the exercise, while also providing an environment that was realistic and challenging enough to ensure engagement at all levels of each participating organization.

ISR facilitated the exercise conduct with a team of over 100 controllers and evaluators, and a fully staffed simulation cell. The use of ISR's exercise website allowed players to access simulated information, including weather, social media messages and news articles from locations across the country. The three-day exercise included extensive field operations, dozens of emergency operations centers and hundreds of injects, all coordinated from the central ISR control cell.

ISR’s use of evaluators ensured valuable lessons were learned that could be passed on to participating organizations in order to improve their own preparedness to an event. Although issues were identified, organizations successfully demonstrated that their plans are sufficiently integrated to support an effective response to a severe accident.

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