Pickering’s false alarm has raised false fears about nuclear power. The fallout from global warming is the bigger threat – by Martin Regg Cohn (Toronto Star – January 16, 2020)


There’s every reason to find out why an emergency alert wrongly went out early Sunday over the Pickering nuclear plant. But a great deal of the alarmist rhetoric over that false alarm simply rings false.

Yes, the screw-up surely rattled many in the eastern GTA. Fear, followed by anger, was to be expected from families wondering if they had enough protective potassium iodide tablets on hand — even if the erroneous alert stressed no abnormal release of radioactivity in the unspecified “incident” that never was.

The reaction from residents was understandable. More predictable, perhaps, was the response from anti-nuclear critics who warned anyone awakened by Sunday morning’s alerts that it was a wake-up call of a higher order.

Images of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima were trotted out by Ontario’s Clean Air Alliance, which warned ominously: “They said it couldn’t happen.” Their fear-mongering should be taken with a grain of (iodized) salt.

The opposition New Democrats and Greens, which have long called for Pickering to be unplugged, pounced on the event as evidence of nuclear incompetence that could compromise public safety. Danger was in the air and on the airwaves.

For the rest of this article: https://www.thestar.com/politics/political-opinion/2020/01/15/pickerings-false-alarm-has-raised-false-fears-about-nuclear-power-the-fallout-from-global-warming-is-the-bigger-threat.html