Canadian province reports 'incident' at nuclear power station near Toronto

An emergency alert concerning the Pickering nuclear power plant sent

More than half an hour after people received mobile alerts about a supposed "incident" at the Pickering Nuclear Generation Station, plant operator Ontario Power Generation tweeted without explanation that the warning "was sent in error".

It said an unspecified event had occurred at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.

It said an incident had been reported but there was no abnormal release of radioactivity from the station.

Though intended for residents living within a 10-kilometre radius of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, it went to all residents in Ontario province.

No other details are available.

Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan was among many calling for a full investigation into the incident.

The company said the Solicitor General of Ontario had confirmed there was no intention to notify the public in this instance.

The Pickering plant is one of the oldest nuclear power stations in the world, and produces about 15 per cent of the power for Ontario.

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A second message sent to Ontarians' phones later cleared the air and the anxiety the first message caused residents, letting them know they weren't going to be burned to death in a nuclear apocalypse. "I have spoken to the province and am demanding that a full investigation take place", Mr. Ryan wrote on Twitter Sunday morning.

A follow-up alert was sent to cellphones almost two hours after the original notification, and about an hour after the OPG tweet.

Toronto Mayor John Tory complained that numerous 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".

"Kind of odd "emergency message" across all of Ontario - but, the message says that there's nothing to be anxious about", Matthew Slutsky tweeted. "So that's the biggest fallout from this scenario".

Pickering, which opened in 1971, was scheduled to be decommissioned this year, but the provincial government committed to keeping it open until 2024. Decommissioning is now set to start in 2028.

Some social media users posted images from the hit cartoon series the Simpsons, which features a nuclear power plant plagued by safety violations.

It has experienced several earlier incidents.

In 1994, the plant automatically shut down after a faulty valve caused 132 tonnes of heavy water to spill.

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