Dirty bomb explosions involving a large amount of radioactive cesium might cause as much as $250 billion damage at the CN Tower, $80 billion at B.C. Place Stadium and $75 billion at the Ambassador Bridge.
The paper calculates possible costs in six areas: explosive cleanup; loss and damage to structures; evacuation; lost productivity; medical treatment; and lost tourism.
The report, which calculates hypothetical economic consequences from “radiological dispersal devices,” concludes that “Canada (as well as other nations) lack the technology necessary to decontaminate a large, densely populated area under the extreme cost and time pressures that an RDD event would generate.”
A spokeswoman for Defence Research and Development Canada (website here) said nobody from her office would comment on the report but that a statement would be released on the defence department website www.forces.gc.ca.
“The analysis they did needs to be done,” said Joe Comartin, vice-chair of the national public safety and national security committee.
“But I think it’s one of those reports where you claim national security and you keep it under wraps.”
Mr. Comartin said the report will needlessly increase anxiety among some citizens.
He also said the analysis indicates that the Ambassador Bridge should not be twinned, since bridges should be far enough away that if one went down, the other would remain standing.
Skip McMahon, director of external affairs for The Canadian Transit Company, the Canadian arm of the Ambassador Bridge, would not discuss specific issues in the report — except to say it indicates why vehicles should be inspected before entering the bridge.
“We don’t comment on any issues dealing with the security that we have in place at the facility other than the fact that we do have 24-hour armed security, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” he said. “As far as the report itself is concerned, it is a what-if scenario.
“It’s one of the reasons that we are such strong supporters of reverse customs inspection.”
Mr. McMahon said after the 9/11 attacks, security was increased on both sides of the bridge, including hiring a Windsor police vehicle which has sat under the span since Sept. 11, 2001.
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist (Neil.Hod.) after a July 4, 2007 article by Craig Pearson in The Windsor Star