Seabrook, NH Teachers Push For Nuclear Disaster Evacuation Plan

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

SEABROOK, NH (CBS) – Some New Hampshire teachers who work near the nuclear power plant in Seabrook claim there is no evacuation plan in place for students if there is a nuclear disaster.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

Forty-eight teachers from Seabrook Middle School signed a letter to Governor John Lynch asking him to look into the situation. Dianne Dunfey wrote the letter, and says no one is in charge of the kids.

Right now, 17 cities and towns around Seabrook take part in emergency training with the power plant every year.

The state has three “reception centers” in Manchester, Dover and Rochester, where people are taken.

State officials say school officials are in charge of evacuating kids, because they don’t want parents to go to the schools and cause traffic problems.

Here’s the problem: years ago, a judge ruled that if there is a nuclear emergency, teachers are not required to go with children on the buses, so they can take care of their own families.

Dunfey says there has been no training of who will look after the students if teachers aren’t there.

We went to Seabrook Fire Chief Jeff Brown for answers. Chief Brown says if teachers refuse, they will have police and firefighters available to go on the buses with the kids. “We made contingency plans for that and will deal with it when it happens,” he claims. “It’s anti-nuclear activism, plain and simple.”

Governor Lynch is in Canada on a trade mission, and issued a statement saying, “We’ve asked the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to review the concerns in the letter, to meet with representatives of the teachers and to report back to the Governor.”

  • Concerned Nurse

    The writer of this news story, Karen Anderson unfairly portrays teachers and staff of Seabrook Middle School. There are teachers and staff including myself as the school nurse who would accompany students to a safe location in the event of a nuclear emergency. Many of us were told that the intent of this letter was to support a review of current emergency plans in light of the disaster in Japan.

  • DStein

    So, what was teacher Dianne Dunfey trying to accomplish with her letter? She apparently agrees with the court ruling that says teachers will take no responsibility for the students. The Fire Chief, on the other hand, has no problem with public safety personnel doing what the teachers aren’t willing to do.

    If Ms. Dunfey has no other point to make about nuclear power, then this problem has been solved and she should just go away. Somehow, I think she absolutely has an anti-muclear agenda….she was just too cowardly to admit it.

  • anthony


  • Child advocate

    Dear dstein, in respects to remain unknown at this point I will admit that I am regretfully one of the teachers who signed that letter too, however it was presented to me in a fashion that we as teachers were concerned about the actual safety regulations of the plant not anything to do with our evacuation plan, she pulled one over on us and many teachers are not happy with her move. Please understand that my stand is to the students and their safety first and foremost and I do what I can to make sure they are safe first, Diane speaks only for herself, not for all of us anymore…

  • Leanne

    My child attended Seabrook Elementary, Seabrook Middle School, and is now a student at Winnacunnet High School and I have never had an issue with the teachers making sure my child was safe. Diane did not portray herself or her issues well in the interview, but, I believe that she has the best interest and safety of our children in mind. This is a serious issue for the families that live in and around Seabrook and I agree that there should be some sort of evacuation plan in effect should something happen at the nuclear power plant.

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