Aug 16, 2013 6:19 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Diablo Canyon safe from terrorist attacks?

Diablo Canyon Power Plant is on a list of nuclear power plants included in a new study suggesting it could have holes in its security. That study was commissioned by the Department of Defense and conducted by the University of Texas; however, officials with Diablo and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are highly critical of the report.

The report, released this week, has spawned concerns over the vulnerabilities of our nation's nuclear power plants. The report says Diablo Canyon is not prepared to defend against attacks on its ocean front.

Officials with the plant say security personnel prepare for anything and everything.

"They continually train and drill to ensure that they are able to respond to any potential threats to security," said Blair Jones from PG&E.

The report has come under fire by both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Energy Institute. Both organizations say the report was based on unclassified security information.

"There are two layers of safeguarded information underneath that," said Doug Walters of the Nuclear Energy Institute.

Without access to that classified information, they say it would be impossible to evaluate a plant's security.

"We do in fact consider a water-borne attack," said Walters. "In fact, it says ‘water-borne vehicle bomb assault,' but you have to go down a couple layers into safe guarded information to understand how big, how fast those kinds of things are."

The NRC issued this statement to KSBY Friday:
"The NRC has robust security requirements for commercial nuclear power plants and facilities housing special nuclear material and remains confident that these important facilities are adequately protected."

According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, since 9-11, security forces have been increased ten-fold. They say there are more than 9,000 security officers stationed at 62 plants across the country.

The report was commissioned by the Department of Defense; however, it does not endorse its conclusions.



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