One of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant’s new local sirens went off on Friday, startling New City residents with a recording of ‘Emergency! Emergency! Emergency!”
Plant spokesman Jerry Nappi said that the voice mechanism in the siren, which is only supposed to be used in parks, has been disabled, and that four other malfunctioning sirens have been fixed.
The four broken sirens were identified during Wednesday’s scheduled testing of Indian Point’s new alarm system, during which 18 of the 172 sirens failed to sound, dropping the system below the 94% federal emergency threshold for acceptable performance. A Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman said that this quarter’s 89.5% score will be averaged with the other three quarterly scores. Last quarter’s test scored 99.7%.
The new sirens are under review by federal emergency officials, who are in the last stages of deciding whether the old system, currently in place as a backup, can be dismantled. The old system malfunctioned routinely, according to Westchester County Emergency Services Commissioner Anthony Sutton, who predicts that current difficulties may cause FEMA to “take a pause” in approving full implementation of the new system.