By Ad Crable
Lancaster New Era Staff
A control-room operator at the Peach Bottom nuclear plant spent 10 minutes reading a novel, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission alleges.
The violation of federal regulations came to light while the NRC was at the plant for an inspection prompted by a 2007 incident in which security guards at the plant were filmed sleeping in an off-duty room where they were allowed to rest but not sleep.
The latest incident occurred in July 2007, according to a notice of violation sent to Peach Bottom owner Exelon Generation on Thursday.
Eric Epstein, Chairman of Three Mile Island Alert, contends PPL's application for a license to construct a nuclear reactor at Bell Bend near Berwick, Pa. leaves at least four serious matters in need of attention.
Epstein contends that the federally required funds to decommission (close down) a plant are inadequate.
He also told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that PPL's has no solid plan for how to dispose of low-level radioactive waste.
This report details how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission bungled an effort to create a new rule to require entrance guards at nuclear power plants.
To read report, open pdf:
December 7, 2009
By MATTHEW L. WALD
WASHINGTON — After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress passed a law instructing the federal government to help states build bigger stocks of a simple, cheap drug to protect people near nuclear power plants in the event of an accident or terrorist attack.
But the 2002 law left a legal loophole allowing the White House to forgo distribution if officials found that there was a better way to prevent cancer than administering the thyroid drug, potassium iodide. And after years of delays, the Bush administration dropped the plan in 2007, saying evacuations would be a better alternative.
September 11, 2009
NEW NRC GUIDELINES ARE FIRST STEP
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued guidelines today making effective a section of the Atomic Energy Act that authorizes the NRC to allow the licensees and certificate holders of NRC-regulated facilities to apply for permission for their security personnel to possess and use certain “enhanced weapons.” These weapons are machineguns, short-barreled shotguns or short-barreled rifles. These guidelines have been approved by the U.S. Attorney General as required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Previously, with limited exceptions, only federal, state or local law enforcement could lawfully possess machineguns.
August 19, 2009
Changed F.B.I. Agents’ Role Shown When Radioactive Material Went Missing
By ERIC SCHMITT
NORWALK, Calif. — The report last month was chilling: a 55-gallon drum of radioactive material had gone missing during shipment from North Carolina to California. Even worse, the person who signed for the cargo was not an employee of the company that ordered the load.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation here ramped up, consulting health officials, questioning radiation specialists and tracking down the trucker who dropped off the material, which could be used in a radioactive-bomb attack. Three hours later, the shipper found the drum — still sitting on a loading dock 20 miles from its destination in the Los Angeles area — having confused it with a similar shipment sent to a different company on the same day.
For an F.B.I. team here that vets tips and threats about possible terrorist activity, it was yet another false alarm in a job largely defined by hoaxes and bogus leads that must still be run to ground.
“A lot of time we are chasing shadows,” said Lee Ann Bernardino, a 20-year F.B.I. special agent who handled the case, “but it’s better to do that than find out later you let something get by.”
A watchdog group thinks satellite images could pose a risk, but the nuclear plant says no security measures are compromised.
Monday, June 08, 2009
BY MONICA VON DOBENECK firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitors at Three Mile Island are asked not to photograph guard towers, vehicle barriers and other security measures. Yet these items are easily seen on the Internet through such sites as Microsoft's maps.live.com, now bing.com/maps.
Scott Portzline, a consultant for the watchdog group Three Mile Island Alert, thinks this is a security problem.
He has monitored sites such as Google Earth, which bring satellite images to home computers, for several years. Recently, he said, the level of detail has increased.
WASHINGTON -- A security consultant with a citizen watchdog group claims that a list containing sensitive nuclear facilities' information that was inadvertently leaked to the Internet could provide terrorists with the tools needed to formulate a plan to attack a commercial nuclear plant.
Three Mile Island Alert Security Consultant Scott Portzline recently directed a statement of
concern to the Secretary of Homeland Security:
Dear Secretary Napolitano,
There now exists a very serious compromise of security at our nation’s
nuclear power plants. Due to the very high quality of satellite images, terrorists
By P.J. Reilly
Staff Writer, Lancaster Newspapers
State, county and municipal officials are making preparations now for the "monumental" journey of two gigantic, 510-ton steam generators, which will travel the length of Lancaster County as they move from Maryland to Three Mile Island.
To accommodate the generators, which are 70 feet long and 13 feet tall, temporary bridge bypasses must be built, overhead utility wires, trees and traffic signals must either be moved or removed and roads must be closed to all traffic.
"It will be an event unlike anything we've seen in my lifetime, as far as moving something goes," said Barry Smith, Manor Township's manager. "I've seen them move houses, and I thought that was pretty cool.
"But this apparently is going to be staggering."