McMaster to hold transportation radiological incident response exercise Nov. 16

McMaster University will test its response to a radiological transportation accident during a Nov. 16 exercise beginning at 9:30 a.m. 

The exercise, in collaboration with the city’s emergency services, will involve a simulated accident scenario at 44 Frid St. in Hamilton. 

The drill involves McMaster’s Health Physics and Nuclear Reactor staff, McMaster Security Services, Hamilton Fire Department, Hamilton Paramedic Service, and the police department.  

Although such an incident is highly unlikely, it’s important to bring these parties together to ensure there’s a mutual understanding of roles and responsibilities during an accident, if one were to occur, says Josip Zic, McMaster’s Health Physics Director.  

“There is a long and proud tradition of safe nuclear research at McMaster University,” said Zic. “The McMaster Nuclear Reactor and the University Nuclear Research Laboratories are world-class facilities that have served researchers, the medical community, students, industry and others since the 1950s.  

The university is responsible for radiological material, not only on campus, but also when it is being transported to or from campus on public roads. As a result we need to develop and maintain our emergency response capabilities, to ensure that we can support first responders in the event of an accident. The experience of working together in real time is invaluable.” 

The exercise will run from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Setup will start around 8 a.m.  

During this time, passersby may see emergency response vehicles and personnel at 44 Frid St.  

Barriers will be set up around the exercise area and access to this area will be very limited.  

McMaster Nuclear Facilities and laboratories provide a number of services to industry and researchers in Canada and around the world, while providing a unique educational experience for university and high school students throughout southern Ontario.