Fergal Nolan awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
TORONTO, July 9, 2012 /CNW/ – His Excellency, the Rt. Hon. David
Johnston, Governor General of Canada, has awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to Dr Fergal Nolan, President of the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada.
The award recognizes Dr Nolan’s exceptional contribution to protecting Canadians
from excessive exposure to radiation in workplaces and communities
across Canada. The award will be presented today at the Ontario
Legislature by the Hon. David Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals were established to commemorate the
60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the
Throne. They are awarded to recognize and celebrate significant
achievements and extraordinary contributions Canadians have made for
the benefit of their fellow citizens and their country.
Founded in 1980, the independent, not-for-profit Radiation Safety
Institute of Canada was created in response to a major radiation
disaster in the uranium mining community of Elliot Lake, Ontario . That
disaster caused the deaths from lung cancer of more than 220 healthy
uranium miners from excessive exposure to radiation in the mines.
Dr Fergal Nolan was a member of the Institute’s founding Board of Governors. Later, he
was appointed its first President and Chief Executive Officer. As such,
he developed the Institute from its origins in Elliot Lake into a
national organization for radiation safety, known for its independence,
strict impartiality and “good science in plain language”© .
The Institute’s unique status has been recognized internationally.
According to officials of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA), Canada’s Radiation Safety Institute is the only organization of
its kind in any country that is independent of government, industry and
With the support of a distinguished and volunteer Board of Governors, Dr
Nolan has led the Radiation Safety Institute in resolving major public
and workplace radiation controversies and in “good science in plain
language” © responses to requests for assistance from individuals,
communities, industries, labour unions and governments across Canada.
Under Dr Nolan’s leadership, the Institute’s unique National
Laboratories were established at Innovation Place in Saskatoon to
provide a specialized technical service to assist in monitoring the
radiation exposure of workers in the mining industry. The service,
federally licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, is the
only one of its kind in Canada and the United States. Recently, in
response to increasing demand, the National Laboratories have been
expanded to twice their original size and with greatly increased
Dr Nolan also led the Institute’s long and successful campaign
advocating major changes in federal and provincial regulations to
ensure greater protection for uranium mine workers from radiation
exposure in the mines; and, for the first time in Canada, for extensive
radiation safety measures to be incorporated at the outset into the
design of new uranium mines in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.
In a second strategic initiative for the Radiation Safety Institute of
Canada, Fergal Nolan’s leadership saw the establishment of the
Institute’s National Education Centre in Toronto to provide
independent, impartial and scientifically sound information on
radiation issues to the public and the media.
In addition, for the more than 150,000 workers (90% outside the nuclear
industry) who are exposed daily in Canada to radioactive materials and
radiation emitting machines in workplaces everywhere, the National
Education Centre provides a range of first-class education, training
and awareness courses in radiation safety and a quick response service
to questions and concerns from workers and employers.
These courses have earned high praise across Canada for their “good
science in plain language”© approach and the quality of their teaching.
Over 1200 Institute graduates now work as qualified Radiation Safety
Officers in hospitals, university research centres, in many different
industries and in government.
After 28 years as President and CEO and 31 years on the Board of
Governors, Dr Fergal Nolan will be retiring in early September from the
Radiation Safety Institute of Canada (see Chair’s Announcement on www.RadiationSafety.ca). His successor will be announced shortly by the Institute’s Board of
The award of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a timely and welcome recognition of his extraordinary service to
Canadians in the interests of radiation safety.
SOURCE Radiation Safety Institute of Canada