Nuclear Watchdog Group Says the Results of a Hostile Action Drill at Three Mile Island are Grievously Misleading


Contact: Scott Portzline - Three Mile Island Alert 717-232-8863

Nuclear Watchdog Group Says the Results of a Hostile Action Drill at Three Mile Island are Grievously Misleading

A key element was missed during the hostile action drill at Three Mile Island (TMI). Specifically, emergency responders could be prevented from carrying out their responsibilities if the bridges at TMI are not under the control of the licensee. The control of approach routes was previously an NRC goal during the rule making process in which TMI Alert participated.

"Limit and control all approach routes."

Also licensees are to “describe the site-specific factors affecting contingency planning”

And that “particular emphasis must be placed on main and alternate entry routes for law enforcement or other offsite support.”

Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 207 / Thursday, October 26, 2006 / Proposed Rules

There are only two entrances at Three Mile Island. All travel to the island, the reactors and spent fuel pools is by these two routes which are composed of bridges and roadways. In order to preserve a viable response plan for offsite responders (including fire fighting vehicles etc.) the bridges must be protected at all times.

Currently the bridges have been in effect, conceded to the terrorists. Guarded and a closed vehicle barriers are needed to control these emergency response routes.

Therefore the recent Hostile Action Drill at TMI missed a fundamental component of the reliance upon emergency responders; that is, without response routes, emergency responders would not have a timely means of putting out fires, capturing hostile intruders, assisting with restoring electrical power or controlling the plant and mitigating a loss of coolant event.

Three Mile Island Alert has addressed this issue with the NRC in recent years, and again just this month to no avail. The NRC restated their circuitous position that all local roads are equally important and vulnerable to attack. Therefore they don’t require the bridges to be protected.

"In addition, the Commission has determined that local roads and bridges that are not subject to licensee control are equally important and vulnerable to attack with regards to the capability of offsite support agencies to respond to any site.”

There are many roads leading to TMI but only two which permit access. These must be properly controlled so that emergency plans aren’t rendered ineffectual by terrorists. The drill did not address this issue as part of its evaluation of response planning. 

Download: TMI After Action Report / Improvement Plan