WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today approved a substitute to S.1746 (the Nuclear Security Act of 2002). The bill amends the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Following is a statement by the Nuclear Energy Institute’s chief nuclear officer, Ralph Beedle, in response to the committee’s action.
“The nuclear energy industry doesn’t believe this prescriptive legislation is necessary, although the substitute is an improvement over the original proposal that, among many things, sought to federalize nuclear plant security forces. The changes incorporated in the substitute legislation show that members of Congress have gained a much better understanding of the robust defenses in place at nuclear plants, and we will continue to work with lawmakers to make further improvements in this legislation.
“U.S. nuclear power plants were safe and secure before September 11th, and they are even more secure today. Nuclear power plants are protected by more than 5,400 paramilitary security officers, 70 percent of whom have prior military, law enforcement or industry security experience.
“Plant security is one of the cornerstones of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s oversight process. The industry will continue to work cooperatively with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Homeland Security, and the Congress in pursuit of a coordinated, seamless security system that assures that plants are protected against any conceivable attack.”
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.