In Wake of False Alarm at Seabrook Station, Shaheen Requests Full Review of Incident & Communication Breakdown

July 15, 2022

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) sent a letter to NextEra Energy yesterday following an emergency alarm that was falsely activated at the Seabrook Station nuclear plant this week. The mistaken emergency announcement caused widespread confusion and concern, and the Senator is now pushing NextEra and Seabrook Station to fully review the breakdown in communication and ensure robust future communication with state and local officials and the public.  

“As you know, an emergency alarm was activated warning many in the vicinity that there was problem at the plant and advising them to evacuate the area.  This caused chaos and left police, fire and state and local officials with few answers,” Shaheen wrote in the letter. 

I am deeply concerned with the insufficient communication during and in the aftermath of this inadvertent alarm. I request that a full review be conducted of the reasons for the triggering of this false alarm, as well as an analysis of the breakdown in communication that occurred between the plant, New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management, local police and fire and local officials,” she continued. “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.” 

You can read the full letter here and below: 

Dear Mr. Ketchum: 

I write to you today to request a review following an alarm at your plant in Seabrook, New Hampshire on the morning of Tuesday, July 12, 2022.  As you know, an emergency alarm was activated warning many in the vicinity that there was problem at the plant and advising them to evacuate the area.  This caused chaos and left police, fire and state and local officials with few answers.   

I am deeply concerned with the insufficient communication during and in the aftermath of this inadvertent alarm. I request that a full review be conducted of the reasons for the triggering of this false alarm, as well as an analysis of the breakdown in communication that occurred between the plant, New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management, local police and fire and local officials.  While I understand that safety protocols are in place, this incident is concerning and warrants extra examination. 

I know that NextEra and Seabrook Station take public safety very seriously.  However, at a time when more information was needed about safety at the plant, there was limited public communication from NextEra aside from a brief statement issued several hours later, which is insufficient.  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. 

I look forward to hearing from you on the results of your review.  

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