Nuclear Power Plant Security and Vulnerabilities [January 3, 2014]   [open pdf - 273KB]

"To strengthen nuclear plant security inspections, EPACT05 [Energy Policy Act of 2005] required NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] to conduct 'force-onforce' security exercises at nuclear power plants at least once every three years. In these exercises, a mock adversary force from outside a nuclear plant attempts to penetrate the plant's vital area and simulate damage to a 'target set' of key safety components. During calendar year 2012, NRC conducted 23 force-on-force (FOF) inspections at 22 commercial nuclear plants and one fuel cycle facility. Eleven of those inspections found performance deficiencies: 19 with low significance (green findings), one 'greater than green' finding, and three severity level IV (least serious) violations. One exercise resulted in the simulated destruction of or damage to a complete 'target set' of vital plant components that were under mock attack. When force-on-force exercises indicate inadequate protection against the DBT [Design Basis Threat], additional security measures must be promptly implemented, according to NRC. Nuclear power plant vulnerability to deliberate aircraft crashes has been a continuing issue. After much consideration, NRC published final rules on June 12, 2009, to require all new nuclear power plants to incorporate design features that would ensure that, in the event of a crash by a large commercial aircraft, the reactor core would remain cooled or the reactor containment would remain intact, and radioactive releases would not occur from spent fuel storage pools."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34331
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:
Help with citations