Issue Date: February 5, 2007
Nuclear sites need not plan for air attack
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled last week that nuclear power plant owners need not take actions to address a terrorist attack with an aircraft. The commission's rule imposes generic security requirements similar to those announced in 2003, NRC said. The commission had been petitioned by the citizen's group Committee to Bridge the Gap to require protections from a deliberate terrorist attack from the air. In last week's decision, the commission said licensees are already required to mitigate the effect of large fires and explosions, and specific protection against airborne threats is addressed by other federal bodies, such as the military. Nuclear power plants, said NRC Chairman Dale Klein when announcing the rule, are "inherently robust structures that our studies show provide adequate nuclear protection in a hypothetical attack by an airplane." It is the first of several planned security-related requirements for nuclear power plants expected from NRC.
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