Ottawa, ON – April 21, 2004 – Defence R&D Canada says it has acquired four mobile nuclear laboratories (MNLs) to provide support in the event of a radiological or nuclear incident. These $1.5-million labs were obtained under the auspices of the federal government’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear research and technology initiative.
“With this new capability, the government of Canada has greatly enhanced its national ability to respond to radiological-nuclear hazards,” says David Pratt, minister of national defence. “These mobile labs could be deployed or air-lifted in emergencies where time is of the essence.”
The labs will be located in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Nova Scotia and will be available for deployment across Canada. Operators from the department of fisheries and oceans, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s Whiteshell and Chalk River Laboratories and the BC Centre for Disease Control will be trained this month to ensure personnel will possess the technical expertise to successfully operate the labs during an event, such as responding to “dirty bombs”. Bombs of this nature spread radioisotopes using explosives, and the emitted radiation can only be detected with special instruments, such as those found in the MNLs.