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Seabrook Nuclear Power Station false alarm last month caused by human error

Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Human error was responsible for a false alarm last month at Seabrook Nuclear Power Station in Seabrook, N.H., that sent patrons at nearby Hampton Beach scrambling to evacuate, officials said Thursday.

Seabrook Station was operating normally on July 12, when 10 of the station’s 121 sirens were inadvertently activated, according to a statement from Lindsay Robertson, a spokeswoman for the station.

“Inspections concluded that the emergency siren system had no equipment issues,” Robertson said.

Following an investigation into the false alarm, Seabrook Station and NextEra Energy Seabrook, which operates the facility, have retrained staff, increased management oversight, added new safeguards to the process for silently testing the emergency systems, and shared their findings with state partners that also conduct emergency tests, according to the statement.

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Even before the false alarm last month, the station had begun planning to transition its emergency alerts to the federal Integrated Public Alert & Warning System that is used to send Amber Alerts and emergency weather notifications to cellphones within a designated area, the statement said.

“At Seabrook Station, our top priority is the safety of everyone living and working in our neighboring communities,” Robertson said.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.