WASHINGTON—Nearing completion of a sector-specific protection plan with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the nuclear energy industry today hosted DHS and other federal, state and local law enforcement and emergency response officials at Constellation Energy’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant to showcase the cooperative effort embodied in DHS’s new National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP).
Nuclear industry officials contributed to the development of the NIPP – unveiled by federal officials just two weeks ago – through its Nuclear Sector Coordinating Council. The NIPP is a comprehensive risk management framework that defines critical infrastructure protection roles and responsibilities for all levels of government, private industry, nongovernmental agencies and tribal partners.
The commercial nuclear industry is among the 17 critical infrastructure and key resource sectors that have been identified for protective actions in the event of a potential terrorist attack or other hazards. Completion of the nuclear sector-specific protection plan is expected within the next few months.
One hundred and three nuclear power plants operate in 31 states; they supply electricity to one of every five homes and businesses. They are widely recognized by independent experts as the most secure facilities in the nation’s industrial infrastructure. Additionally, the emergency preparedness coordination among nuclear plant personnel and local, state and federal law enforcement officials and first responders serves as a model for other sectors.
Michael J. Wallace, chairman of the industry’s Nuclear Sector Coordinating Council and president of Constellation Energy subsidiary, Constellation Generation Group, hosted federal, state and local officials during today’s tour of the 1,650-megawatt Calvert Cliffs nuclear power station. He also spoke at the post-tour news conference that featured DHS Under Secretary for Preparedness George Foresman and Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Robert Stephan.
“Today’s Infrastructure Protection Plan announcement is the strongest affirmation yet of the nuclear energy sector’s commitment to working closely with the Department of Homeland Security to solidify security and emergency preparedness well beyond the existing Nuclear Regulatory Commission protective measures,” said Wallace.
“Constellation Energy is pleased that Calvert Cliffs has played a lead role in the Department of Homeland Security’s Comprehensive Review security evaluation program, and that it has long embraced the multi-jurisdictional coordination which is at the heart of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan.
“I’m equally proud of the nuclear industry for the highly professional manner with which it has further strengthened its formidable security on-site, and improved coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement and first responders off-site. All of this work solidifies the industry’s ability to meet customer needs and strengthen U.S. energy security by providing clean, reliable, affordable electricity.”
In meeting additional security requirements imposed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission since 2001, the nuclear energy industry has spent more than $1.2 billion in manpower and facility upgrades. The number of security officers at 64 plant sites has risen to more than 8,000 – a 60 percent increase – and physical improvements at sites include additional protection against vehicle bombs as well as additional protective measures against various types of potential terrorist threats.
The commercial nuclear sector was the first to begin taking part in DHS’s Comprehensive Review security evaluations to facilitate the most effective allocation of Homeland Security resources across the 17 sectors. The nuclear plant reviews began in the spring of 2005.
A prime objective of the Comprehensive Reviews has been to identify and implement ways to enhance security and emergency preparedness at these facilities, or off-site, beyond the exclusive responsibility of a nuclear plant’s security forces.
The NIPP is designed to make the United States safer and more resilient by enhancing protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources; by mitigating the effects of an attack; and by strengthening national preparedness and response and recovery programs.
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.