Residents across the greater Toronto area were jolted awake early Sunday by a mass mobile alert sent after an “incident” was reported at a nuclear power plant in Canada that turned out to be sent in error.
The government of Ontario sent out an emergency bulletin on mobile phones around 7:30 a.m. ET about the “incident” at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station in the town of Pickering along Lake Ontario, located about 26 miles northeast of downtown Toronto.
“There has been NO abnormal release of radioactivity from the station,” the alert read. “People near the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station DO NOT need to take any protective actions at this time.”
The emergency alert applied for people within 6.2 miles of the power plant but many in the greater Toronto area received the message.
“Does anyone [have] any more news on this #Pickering nuclear issue?? Kind of strange “emergency message” across all of Ontario – but, the message says that there’s nothing to be worried about,” Matthew Slutsky tweeted. “If I lived in Pickering, I think I’d be in my car already heading out of town.”
“There is no danger to the public or environment,” the agency said.
The power plant, run by Ontario Power Generation, has been in service since 1971 and is slated to be decommissioned in 2024, according to CP24.
Many across the greater Toronto area voiced concerns after receiving the alert, with some referencing the Chernobyl disaster.
“Ummmm guys. I’ve seen Chernobyl….. I’m gonna need more news than this,” Gillian Plummer wrote.
Others took aim at the plant that’s set to be decommissioned, saying Pickering “is past it’s best.”
“Looks like a lot of us in the GTA/Ontario woke up to a reminder that we have a fricking nuclear plant on the shore of one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world,” Jane Cawthorne tweeted. “Like that was ever a good idea.”
Additional information has yet to be released by officials.