My daughter woke me up on Sunday morning. She was asking what that noise coming from my phone was about. It was a little past 7 AM and it was a first night in a long time I could sleep in a bit. We would have probably slept more but for the amber alert coming from the phone.
It wasn’t until a few minutes later that I looked at my phone. Whoa.
As a kid, during visits to Toronto, I’d count down the miles until we were in Pickering and I could get a glimpse of Pickering. I was completely obsessed. You could potentially get the fuel to power the Flux capacitor from there. I had worried as well about a meltdown and what effect that would have. It was a topic of conversation with my cousins when we’d visit them.
As a kid, I confused a meltdown with a nuclear explosion, which I was also obsessed with. Every time I’d go shopping with my father as an 11 year old, I’d wonder how much toilet paper would be necessary to stock a fallout shelter for a year. I dreamed of the luxury shelters that are now becoming available or the ones later depicted in the game Fallout.
Based on the safety of CANDU reactors, an all out meltdown seemed unlikely. The design is not the RBMK. However, peoples’ minds go to the most dangerous scenario immediately.
What’s more likely than a nuclear reactor incident?
A mass panic system generated through amber alerts. It’s amazing the power of such a system, either hacked directly or spoofed. It would be a powerful disinformation system if deployed effectively during a crisis. This is what we should be worried about now.