New sirens for Indian Point

August 8, 2008 3:55:47 PM PDT
After more than a year of planning and testing, state of the art, digital sirens are replacing the old rotating ones in the community around the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. "Project management has been difficult. I'm not going to paint a rosy picture at times," said Anthony Sutton of Westchester County Commission of Emergency Management.

Officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Indian Point discussed the progress in testing and running the new system during a news conference in Tarrytown.

"It's a large project, a difficult project," said Sam Collins of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

After missing three deadlines for completion and paying close to 800-thousand dollars in fines to the NRC, Entergy, the company owning Indian Point, said the multi-million dollar siren system is ready.

The sirens notify residents in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange counties who live within 10-miles around the plant.

The new system has back up battery power in the event of a power outage and 2400 additional households outside the zone can be notified of an emergency by individual tone alert radios that will be placed in their homes. Neighbors like Mary Beth Hewitt are pleased.

"I live 25 minutes away in Rockland. Everybody needs to hear," she said.

Tom Jackson has lived in Buchanan all his life. He said there's still work to do.

"If it gets that bad where that system is necessary, the evacuation plan isn't going to work anyway. What good is a good siren plan if the evacuation plan doesn't work anyway," Jackson said.

An Indian Point spokesman says the siren system is slated to begin working Thursday.

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STORY BY: Thalia Patillo

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