“BUCHANAN – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has finalized an order
requiring the owner of the Indian Point nuclear power plants to have a
backup power source for their emergency sirens by January 2007.
A draft of the order to owner Entergy Nuclear Northeast was issued last
month. The final order was issued on Tuesday, NRC spokeswoman Diane Screnci said.
A spokesman for Entergy, Jim Steets, said the company already had begun
replacing the old Indian Point siren system with a new system that would
include backup batteries for each siren and other improved capabilities.
The NRC order follows a new federal requirement contained in the Energy
Policy Act of 2005. The requirement, which was targeted solely at the
Indian Point plants, mandates that there be backup power for emergency
notification systems under certain conditions.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, who introduced the legislation, praised the NRC’s
“The community deserves to know that emergency sirens will work no matter
what and that there are backup systems in place to ensure that they do,”
Clinton, D-N.Y., said in a statement issued Wednesday.
The sirens for the Indian Point plants had been unreliable in recent tests
of their ability to alert residents within 10 miles to an emergency.
In one October 2005 test, 10 of the 16 sirens in Orange County failed to go
off, and in a September 2005 test, none of Rockland’s 51 sirens responded.
Performance was better, but not perfect, in November 2005.“