Seabrook Operator to Governor: We ‘Regret Ramifications’ of False Alarm
The operators of the Seabrook Station nuclear plant told Gov. Chris Sununu in a letter that they are working to make sure the sirens don't go off in error again.
The letter signed by Site Vice President Brian Booth assures Sununu, who lives within the 10 mile Emergency Planning Zone, that there were no operating issues at the plant when the sirens were activated on Tuesday morning with orders to evacuate the beach. The sirens were "inadvertent activated" during routine testing, according to Booth.
"The Seabrook Station team is conducting a thorough investigation and we will take actions to ensure this situation does not happen again. We are also committed to enhancing our notification and communication to state and local agencies based on our findings," Booth wrote in the letter.
The letter was also sent to state Commissioner of Safety Robert Quinn, Homeland Security commissioner Jennifer Harper, Hampton Town Manager William Manzi, and Executive Councilor Janet Stevens, who lives in Rye.
"The state appreciates their commitment to investigating and enhancing their communication system. Granite Staters on the Seacoast are frustrated and concerned at this inadvertent alarm, and I’m right there with them — which is why we’re going to hold Seabrook accountable on their review to ensure this doesn't happen again," Sununu said in response.
Harper told WMUR that a meeting is scheduled between her office and other departments and municipalities to discuss the event.
Residents still skittish over Tuesday's false alarm had to be assured Friday that announcements being made at Phillips Exeter Academy were nothing more than a pre-planned drill.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen sent a letter to NextEra urging them to not only fully investigate what caused the sirens to go off, but communication between the plant, New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and local police and fire officials.
“I hope you will do more to reassure the public that an incident like this will not happen again and you will reach out to state and local leaders to share more information about how you will improve upon this going forward," Shaheen wrote.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH