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Nuclear Energy Institute
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2002
Contact: media@nei.org, 202.739.8000 or 703.644.8805 (after hours and weekends)

NRC Issues Requirements To Sustain Heightened Security at Nuclear Plants

WASHINGTON—The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today announced requirements to sustain the nuclear energy industry’s heightened security readiness. For most companies that operate the nation’s 103 nuclear power reactors, the NRC’s action formalizes security programs and practices already in place.

"The companies that operate nuclear power plants took the initiative to go to the highest security status on September 11 and we remain at that heightened level of readiness," said Ralph Beedle, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s chief nuclear officer. "We have taken measures during the past five months to strengthen our security capability and readiness. The NRC’s requirements provide a formal framework to sustain this heightened readiness for the long term."

Generally, the NRC’s requirements are in the areas of personnel, and additional physical security barriers. The NRC’s requirements for nuclear power plants supplement a substantial security strategy that makes them extremely secure. The industry security strategy employs a combination of robust physical protection; an experienced security force of more than 5,000 officers, who are well-armed and well-trained in anti-terrorism tactics; and emergency response capability unsurpassed in the industrial sector.

"Maintaining high levels of safety and security are the industry’s highest priority," Beedle said. "We continue to do everything we can to improve security preparedness at the nation’s nuclear plants. We will continue to meet all federal requirements for security and safety—and coordinate with state and federal law enforcement, the military, and intelligence officials to assure that there is a fully protective shield around nuclear power facilities."

Nuclear power plants operating in 31 states provide electricity to one of every five homes and businesses in the United States.

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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.

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