In a letter sent today, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef calls on Entergy Nuclear Northeast and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to completely upgrade the Indian Point emergency siren system by replacing the low-wailing sirens with an automated voice that could convey vital information in the case of an actual emergency or notification that the system is being tested.
Galef also recommended an automated phone alert system be put into place in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange counties to send detailed information to residents when there is a test or emergency at Indian Point.
"The time has come to replace the siren system completely," Galef said. "Recent system failures have made it clear that the entire emergency notification needs upgrading. It makes sense to put in the best system that provides the most information to residents at this time. By changing the signal from a siren to a voice, people will have more information about what is happening at Indian Point, and will be more prepared to react appropriately."
Automated phone alert systems are now used in school districts and county governments to send out detailed information in the case of emergencies or in instances when community or school information must be sent to a large number of people quickly. The Indian Point phone notification system should include all residents and businesses in the four surrounding counties. These types of automated systems can store as many as six contact phone numbers for each individual and business, and track results of completed calls.
"An automated phone system is an invaluable way to alert community members and businesses about emergency situations and tests at the plant. Automated phone systems are an excellent way to give residents and business owners more detailed information and clearer instructions." said Galef. "I strongly recommend that the NRC and Entergy implement such a system for Indian Point."