Drills held to simulate attack on Indian Point

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Workers at the Indian Point plant in Buchanan are taking part in drills Tuesday through Thursday that simulate a terrorist attack on the facility.

Tuesday?s drill was called a force-on-force exercise and simulated an attack on the plant from the outside. Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi says the drills have been voluntarily implemented every year since the Sept. 11 attacks. He says the drills are then graded by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

"It?s as close to a real terrorist event as you would want to get," Nappi says. "Our security forces are well trained and well equipped."

The extensive Indian Point complex, long considered a potential terrorist target, is under the protection of Entergy's in-house security force, which is supplemented by the New York State National Guard and the New York State Naval Militia.

Although county officials have been pushing for the closing of Indian Point, they welcome the drill as a way to ensure the safety of the plant.

?It doesn't change our position about Indian Point, but the force-on-force drill is a good thing,? says the County Executive Chief Advisor Susan Tolchin.

Many residents who live in the vicinity of the plant agree.

"I think it's a good thing, so they can be ready," says Brandi LaCourt, of Wingate. "They can be prepared for any type of action taken against us."

According to Entergy officials, the drills could occur at any time, day or night, for the next three days. They warn there is a possibility that people near the plants during a drill may hear what sounds like gunfire or explosions.

Both sides in the force-on-force exercise are members of the Indian Point security contingent. But in an exercise expected to be conducted by the NRC next year, the attacking force is expected to consist of outside security experts.

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