It is significant that the reactor accident was detected through the Swedish radioactive air monitoring system. The Swedish system is unique and has no parallel in Canada. It detects airborne radioactivity in a routine way all over the country and at an exceedingly high level of sensitivity.
In 1982 Sweden proposed an international radioactive data exchange, envisaging a world-wide system of radioactive monitoring stations as an arms control verification measure connected with a possible Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. But what was proposed as an arms control measure clearly now has an important dimension in public health and safety.
Despite the monitoring which is already done by provincial health authorities, Canada does not possess continuously operated nation -wide systems and has no monitors of sensitivity comparable to the Swedish. Perhaps it is timely now for a Canadian pilot project.
- Derek Paul