For those in Canada who haven’t watched HBO’s Chernobyl, the news from Pickering was a good reason to look up some info on the dangers of mismanaged nuclear power.
Authorities in the Province of Ontario on Sunday morning sent out an emergency bulletin after what they called an “incident” at the Pickering Nuclear Power Generation Station.
The alert assured locals that there had been “no abnormal release of radioactivity” within close proximity to the station, without going into further detail.
Although Pickering officials soon said that the alert had been put up by mistake – presumably triggered by a test of the emergency alert system – the panic had already spread across social media.
Toronto reporters trying to get to Pickering nuclear plant rn. pic.twitter.com/DIQtkeJFZp— Sensible Brunch (@SensibleBrunch) January 12, 2020
Good news: it’s not an amber alert— mike in boston (@mikeinboston) January 12, 2020
Bad news: it’s a Pickering nuclear power plant alert
Someone in Pickering right now pic.twitter.com/wZ94lTSJ9B— Prince Of Egypt (@FerreroPharaoh) January 12, 2020
BREAKING: everyone in Ontario now knows exactly how far away they live from the Pickering nuclear plant— Madeleine Bonsma-Fisher (@mbonsma) January 12, 2020
Woke up to a warning about the nuclear plant in Pickering...👍🏾 pic.twitter.com/DzOJFyjFvs— electric lady ⚡️ (@khaleesi___b) January 12, 2020
Pickering Nuclear Plant spokesperson prepares to address the media. pic.twitter.com/8nZuo01LTz— Lloyd Rang (@lloydrang) January 12, 2020
Completed in 1971, the Pickering plant is sitting on the northern shore of Lake Ontario just east of Toronto. Scheduled to be shut down in 2024, it is Canada’s third-largest nuclear power station, producing about 16 percent of Ontario’s power and providing over 7,000 jobs, if staff and suppliers are included.
The plant has seen several accidents of varying severity since the 1970s, including a loss of coolant accident in 1983 and a spill of 185 tonnes of heavy water in 1994.