Statement Submitted by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Invesitgations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, United States House of Representatives, Concerning Nuclear Power Plant Security(2) [open pdf - 24KB]
This statement discusses the current status of actions that NRC and its licensees have taken in response to the terrorist acts that occurred on September 11 and outline the work that lies ahead. The belief is that the NRC's response to the September attacks has been appropriate and thoughtful, and that the NRC's current programs continue to provide a very high level of security. Before September 11, 2001, nuclear power plants were among the best defended and most hardened facilities of the Nation's critical infrastructure. In the aftermath of the attacks, security was strengthened considerably. On September 11, the NRC activated its Emergency Operations Center in Rockville, Maryland and all four Regions activated their Incident Response Centers. They immediately advised the licensees of all nuclear power plants, non-power reactors, nuclear fuel facilities, gaseous diffusion plants, and decommissioning reactors to go to the highest level of security as defined by a 1998 safeguards information notice and they promptly did. Their licensees have remained at the highest level of security as described in the 1998 notice since that time. They have maintained a steady flow of information with their licensees through over 30 updates to the original threat advisory, regular communications between the NRC Regional Administrators and licensees, audits of licensee activities, and numerous interactions with various stakeholders. In February they issued Orders to each operating power reactor licensee specifying actions each must take to continue the high level of security to protect the plants, and thereby public health.