False nu­clear in­ci­dent alert near Toronto alarms res­i­dents

The Punch - - WORLD NEWS -

THe Cana­dian prov­ince of On­tario sent out a false alert on Sun­day that there had been an in­ci­dent at a mas­sive nu­clear power sta­tion near Toronto, Canada’s largest city, prompt­ing an­gry lo­cal may­ors to de­mand an in­quiry, Reuters re­ports.

At around 7:30 a.m. et (1230 GMT) cell phone users across On­tario re­ceived an alert about the sup­posed in­ci­dent at the age­ing Pick­er­ing plant, one of the world’s largest.

Less than an hour later the On­tario Power Gen­er­a­tion (OPG) author­ity said the mes­sage had been a mis­take.

“Im­por­tant up­date: the alert re­gard­ing Pick­er­ing Nu­clear was sent in er­ror. There is no dan­ger to the pub­lic or en­vi­ron­ment,” it said in a tweet with­out giv­ing de­tails.

The ini­tial mes­sage said there had been no ab­nor­mal leak of ac­tiv­ity from the plant, which is lo­cated on the shores of Lake On­tario some 50 km (30 miles) east of down­town Toronto.

“Like many of you, I was very trou­bled to have re­ceived that emer­gency alert this morn­ing. While I am re­lieved that there was no ac­tual emer­gency, I am up­set that an er­ror such as this oc­curred,” Pick­er­ing Mayor Dave Ryan said on Twit­ter.

“I have spo­ken to the prov­ince, and am de­mand­ing that a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion take place.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory com­plained that many of the city’s 3 mil­lion res­i­dents had been un­nec­es­sar­ily alarmed and also pushed for a probe, cit­ing what he said were “far too many unan­swered ques­tions”.

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