Threat of Sabotage and Terrorism to Commercial Nuclear Powerplants, Oversight Hearing Before the Subcommittee on General Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundredth Congress, Second Session, March 9, 1988   [open pdf - 135MB]

From the opening statement of Subcommittee Chairman Sam Gejdenson: "The purpose of this afternoon's hearing is to evaluate the adequacy of NRC [U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission] regulations relevant to the protection of commercial nuclear reactors from terrorism and sabotage. [...] There are a number of deficiencies with the design basis threat, the most obvious being that it assumes that terrorists attacking a reactor do not have a car. Consequently, NRC licensees are not required to have vehicle barriers to prevent vehicle access to a reactor. At most plants, the only barrier to cars is a chain-link gate. I was puzzled to learn this. It is simply illogical to assume that any individual in the United States does not have access to an automobile. I was left wondering how the NRC thinks that terrorists attacking a plant would get there. I was disturbed to learn that, in 1986, the Commissioners decided by a vote of 3/2 to continue to assume that terrorists attacking a nuclear reactor would not have a car. Simple prudence and common sense dictate that the NRC assume that terrorists have cars and that licensees should be required to protect against that level of threat." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Daniel Hirsch, Director, Program on Nuclear Policy, University of California; Bruce Hoffman, Staff Member, Rand Corporation; Paul Leventhal, President, Nuclear Control Institute; Clark D. Merer, Chairman, Edison Electric Institute Security Committee on behalf of the American Nuclear Energy Council; and Lando W. Zech, Jr., Chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Report Number:
Serial No. 100-43
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Interlibrary Loan from SUNY Oswego
Media Type:
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