“Rockland County Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) and Sue Kelly (R-NY) yesterday sent a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission telling the agency that any failure of the emergency sirens at the Indian Point nuclear power plant is unacceptable. The NRC has taken the “outrageous” position that a failure rate of 10 percent or more of the sirens is acceptable, the lawmakers said.
“A 10 percent failure rate of sirens at Indian Point could leave 25 percent of the population near the plant completely unaware that they are in mortal danger,” said Engel, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who has publicly called for the plant’s closure. “The NRC has the responsibility to protect all New Yorkers living around the plant, and the presumption that it is acceptable for 10 percent of the sirens to be broken is disgraceful.”
“Our emergency plans are only as good as the weakest link. Yet the NRC is tolerating safety systems that will not alert many in our community in the event of an emergency,” said Lowey. “The NRC should seriously reconsider its policy and implement a regulation that allow our communities to rely on working sirens and reliable security plans instead of acceptable failure rates and crossed fingers.”
“This is a common-sense issue,” said Kelly. “Every resident rightfully expects to hear a notification siren in the event of an emergency. The NRC has an obligation to ensure that 100 percent of those sirens work and nobody is left unprotected.””
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