New Indian Point sirens given first test
After going online last month following numerous delays, Indian Point's new emergency siren system was given its first official test Wednesday morning.
Out of the 172 new sirens installed in the four counties surrounding the nuclear power plant complex in Buchanan, only one on Grassy Point Road in Rockland County failed. The causes of the failure are currently under review.
The sirens were designed to alert residents who live in the 10-mile radius around Indian Point to turn on their radios or televisions for emergency information, and most residents say the sirens are loud enough to get the message out.
Some people, however, may still have trouble hearing the sirens. Entergy has offered emergency alert radios to about 750 people in Westchester, but so far, only about 100 have responded.
"I think that most people have not accepted the offer because they just feel that the sirens are loud enough, and they either hear them, or they have other means by which to receive the message,? says Entergy spokesperson Robyn Bentley.
Although most of the sirens passed Wednesday?s test, another part of the emergency alert system did not. The State Emergency Management Office in Albany allegedly experienced major trouble sending out an Emergency Alert System message to the media.
The federal government ordered Entergy to provide back-up power for the old sirens, but the company took the opportunity to install a new, sophisticated system.
Due to recurring construction delays and technical problems that have been plaguing the new system, it ended up going online more than a year and a half late. As a result, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission slapped Entergy with fines that amounted to about $800,000.