HomeNuclearNRC orders more security for decommissioning nuclear plants

NRC orders more security for decommissioning nuclear plants

May 24, 2002 — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued orders requiring all decommissioning commercial nuclear power plants with spent fuel stored in water-filled pools and a spent nuclear fuel storage facility using pool storage to implement interim compensatory security measures for the current threat environment.

Some of the requirements formalize a series of security measures that NRC licensees had taken in response to advisories issued by the NRC in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Additional security enhancements, which have emerged from the on-going comprehensive security review, are also spelled out in the orders.

The security requirements will remain in effect until the commission determines that the level of threat has changed, or additional security measures are needed following a comprehensive re-evaluation of current safeguards and security programs. The commission views these compensatory measures as prudent, interim steps to address the current threat environment in a consistent manner.

The commission recognizes that the licensees have voluntarily and responsibly implemented additional security measures following the events of September 11. But the commission determined that it should require certain security measures by Order so that they are maintained within the established regulatory framework.

The specific security measures addressed by the orders are understandably sensitive, but generally include requirements for increased patrols, augmented security forces and capabilities, additional security posts, installation of additional physical barriers, vehicle checks at greater stand-off distances, enhanced coordination with law enforcement and military authorities, and more restrictive site access controls for personnel.