New Hampshire

‘False Alarm': Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant Siren Inadvertently Activated, Officials Say

Beaches in the area were evacuated, but police said there is no emergency

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The siren at Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire was inadvertently activated Tuesday morning, officials said, but there is no emergency.

"The state has been notified by Seabrook Nuclear Power Station that an inadvertent siren activation happened earlier today," Gov. Chris Sununu said in a tweet shortly after 11:30 a.m. "There is no emergency at the plant and no danger to the public."

He said further information will be released "as it becomes available."

The alert that was sent out told people to evacuate area beaches.

"Attention. Attention. There is a problem at Seabrook Nuclear Power Station. The beaches are closed. Leave the beach area at once and turn on your radio for more information," the alert said, according to a recording of the message obtained by NBC10 Boston.

A spokesperson for the power plant said the sirens were activated "in error during testing of the system" and local authorities have told the public there is no need to evacuate.

"Seabrook Station is currently operating with no issues that impact the nearby community," the statement said. "We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused."

The Rockingham County Sheriff's Department also said on Facebook that there was an "inadvertent alert" of the Seabrook emergency alarms.

"There is NO Emergency," they said.

Hampton police, Hampton fire and rescue and Salisbury, Massachusetts, police confirmed that account on Twitter.

New Hampshire State Police also confirmed that it was a false alarm. They said sirens reportedly went off at Hampton Beach and other beaches in Hampton, Rye and Seabrook telling people to evacuate.

People who were on the beach Tuesday recalled the chaos.

"I just heard it say that there was a problem at the power plant, stay calm, and leave the beach," said Emily Ahearn, who was at Hampton Beach.

"As we're looking around, everyone looked panicked," said Kylie Croteau, who was also at Hampton Beach Tuesday. "What scared me the most was the lifeguard really didn't know what was going on and really looked panicked. I was like, 'We should probably leave.'"

"We were all really out of breath after running and I just got out of there as quickly as possible," said beachgoer Emily Watson.

"You hear a nuclear leak or something like that, you're not thinking good things," said beachgoer Paul Driscoll, who heard the alarm in Hampton Beach. "You hear about Chernobyl, Russia, stuff like that, you're thinking this might not be good, and where do you go?"

"It did kind of freak the neighborhood out," said Nicole Quinn of Seabrook.

Seabrook police said they are in communication with Seabrook Station about the sirens being activated. "We are being told that there is NO EMERGENCY but we are continuing to investigate," they said.

The New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management issued a statement confirming the "inadvertent siren activation," saying there is no emergency at the plant and no danger to the public.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency tweeted a similar update shortly after noon Tuesday.

Seabrook Station, as it is commonly known, is operated by NextEra Energy and is located on 900 acres of land off Route 1, a short distance from the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border and about 40 miles north of Boston.

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