Editorials

“Evacuation plan fails children . . .” by Mary Cronin

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency has certified that the emergency plan for Indian Point provides “reasonable assurance of adequate protection” in a nuclear disaster. Immediately afterward, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, citing FEMA’s decision, issued a statement pronouncing the emergency plan “satisfactory.” , Unfortunately, FEMA has already demonstrated that it has no understanding of what the words “reasonable,” “adequate” and “protection” mean., Last fall, FEMA determined that the September 2002 drill of the current emergency plan was “successful.” But the independent observers of James Lee Witt Associates found numerous and significant problems with the drill and the plan. , Once of these problems was known as the “latchkey kid problem.”, In the exercise scenario, the first evacuation wave included only a part of the 10-mile evacuation zone. Schools not evacuated in the first wave dismissed their students at the regular time. Sometime earlier, the trains had been stopped, meaning that some parents were unable to travel home. , The Witt report explains the horrifying absurdity of what happened next. , “Less than one hour after the children were simulated to have been returned home, the same zones were advised to evacuate. , Many of the children presumably left home alone would not be able to evacuate themselves.” (Page 178, Witt report.), It is incomprehensible how anyone could describe a plan or a drill that leaves children alone to deal with a nuclear emergency as successful, adequate or reasonable. , Whether they are deliberately misleading us or have simply lost their way, FEMA and the NRC have demonstrated that they are no longer fit to protect the public.

Mary Cronin, Croton-on-Hudson”

This editorial originally appeared in the Journal News

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