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False Nuclear Alert in Toronto Jolts Residents’ Sunday

Danielle Bochove

(Bloomberg) -- Toronto-area residents had a rude awakening Sunday after receiving a false alert about a nuclear power-plant emergency.

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 that there was no emergency and the warning was a mistake.

“The alert was issued in error to the public during a routine training exercise” by Ontario province’s emergency operations center, provincial solicitor general Sylvia Jones said in a statement.

The provincial government apologizes for raising public concern and will take steps “to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” she said.

The alerts, including one by public-service site Alertable Canada, said the emergency applied to people within 10 kilometers (6 miles) of the power plant, though it also went to people living farther away.

The incident prompted a flood of scorn on OPG’s Twitter feed. One user posted a screen shot from the HBO miniseries “Chernobyl” with a sarcastic caption. Others complained about their Sunday morning being jolted and demanded an explanation.

(Updates with provincial government statement in third paragraph)

To contact the reporter on this story: Danielle Bochove in Toronto at dbochove1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Luzi Ann Javier at ljavier@bloomberg.net, Tony Czuczka, James Ludden

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