Nuclear Regulation: Emergency Preparedness Issues at the Indian Point 2 Nuclear Power Plant, Statementof Jim Wells, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, Testimony before the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives [open pdf - 141KB]
In 2001, we reported that, over the years, NRC had identified a number of emergency preparedness weaknesses at Indian Point 2 that had gone largely uncorrected. Consolidated Edison had some corrective actions under way before a February 2000 event raised the possibility that radioactively contaminated water would leak into the environment. In evaluating Consolidated Edison's response to this event, NRC found that critical emergency response personnel were not notified in a timely manner, which delayed the staffing and operation of the on-site emergency response facility. As a result, NRC found emergency preparedness problems similar to those it had identified before and during the event. Consolidated Edison reported that a release had occurred but posed no threat to the public, while county officials reported that no release had occurred. Consolidated Edison, the state, and the counties revised the plant's radiological emergency data form to more clearly show whether a release had occurred. As we also reported, county officials suggested changes to improve communications among NRC, FEMA, and non-state entities. In particular, county officials said that since they are responsible for radiological emergency preparedness for Indian Point 2, NRC and FEMA should communicate directly with them during non-emergency situations. Since our 2001 report, NRC inspection reports have continued to show emergency preparedness weaknesses. NRC officials said that they meet with state officials concerning emergency preparedness and have instituted various initiatives to improve public communication, in which local officials can participate. FEMA officials told us that it would continue to work with state and local governments on emergency preparedness.
Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/