WASHINGTON—The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) announced that the following steps to increase security are among those that are being taken at U.S. nuclear power plants in response to the issuance today of an orange threat level warning by the Office of Homeland Security.
Heighten security and emergency response readiness at nuclear power plants
Increase the numbers of armed security officers at each plant
Increase coordination with local and state law enforcement at each plant
Additional steps to restrict plant access to all but essential personnel and vehicles
Action by emergency response organizations to review procedures so they are in a high state of readiness.
U.S. nuclear power plants operating in 31 states provide electricity for one of every five U.S. homes and businesses. They are among the most secure facilities in the U.S. industrial infrastructure.
Nuclear power plants are protected by a paramilitary security force of more than 6,000 highly trained, well-armed officers, nearly two-thirds of whom have prior military, law enforcement or industrial security experience. The power plant structures also are protected by a combination of robust structural plant designs, redundant physical barriers, and sophisticated detection and access control technology.
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, nuclear power companies have made additional security enhancements. These steps generally include expanding plant perimeters, increasing security patrols, installing additional physical barriers, conducting vehicle checks at greater stand-off distances, hiring additional security personnel, enhancing coordination with law enforcement and military authorities, and more restrictive site access controls for personnel. Additional measures have been put in place to provide greater protection against land attacks, including the use of a substantial vehicle bomb, and against water-borne attacks.
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.