Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Nuclear Reactors and Airplane Attacks

Now, we are all aware that citizens are not allowed to have access to, or even discuss the DBT under the guise we could be tipping off terrorists by holding such discussions. Never mind a community being allowed to know the real risks associated with being forced to play host to a aging, fatigued, FAC plagued reactor such as Indian Point. Besides, the NRC and Entergy have told us that the chance of air planes crashing into Nuclear Reactors are so remote, that consideration of the risks associated with such a scenerio are not even worth considering.

OK, then maybe someone from the NRC (Sam Collins?) can explain to me why air planes flying into reactors, the danger of planes and immenent risks play such an important part of the NRC email (copied below)that discusses phone call protocols. Seems that the risks of planes being highjacked and flown into nuclear reactors is a far more real event than the NRC and Homeland Security want to let on. Said letter was found on the NRC Adams site doing a very simple search.


June 25, 2007


SA-07-01 Rev. 1


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC [?] ) has identified the benefit of expediting the verification of caller identity in the case of a threat or attack to a nuclear power plant. This is especially important in the case of an airborne threat.


Appendix G, “Reportable Safeguards Events,” to Title 10, Section 73.71, “Reporting of Safeguards Events,” of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 73.71) provides the current reporting requirements for security-related events. In addition, the Commission has previously advised licensees of the need to expedite their initial notifications to the NRC [?] in NRC [?] Bulletin 2005-02, “Emergency Preparedness and Response Actions for Security-Based Events,” dated July 18, 2005. This Security Advisory (SA) provides guidance regarding a voluntary process intended to enhance the efficiency of initial notifications and reduce the resource impact of the existing caller identification protocol.

The current verification protocol involves several steps. First, the NRC [?] receives threat information from an external source (e.g., the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command) and telephones the licensee main control room. To verify that the caller is actually the NRC [?] , the licensee has two options. While the licensee stays on the line, another member of the licensee’s staff can call the NRC [?] Operations Center to verify the authenticity of the call. Alternatively, the licensee can hang up the phone and call the NRC [?] Operations Center to perform the verification. NRC [?] staff would perform a similar process if the NRC [?] Operations Center receives a call from the licensee to notify the agency of a security threat or an actual attack.

The current verification protocol involves the use of resources that may be better suited to other tasks, such as licensee immediate actions for an imminent threat and notifying additional State and local first responders. Under the new protocol, the NRC [?] will exchange an authentication code with the licensee’s main control room to verify the caller’s identity whenever a caller makes a threat notification. The proper use of the code will provide a short, simple means of caller authentication that may eliminate the need to perform a callback, unless desired, and will still maintain reasonable assurance of the caller’s identity.

Due to feedback from industry representatives, the Agency is issuing this revision to remove the word “imminent” to avoid confusion with the use of the term with respect to aircraft threats. The revision also clarifies when use of the authentication code is appropriate. Specifically, the code is intended to be used as an operational aid by licensee main control room staff and NRC [?] Headquarters Operations Officers (HOOs) to facilitate rapid caller authentication during a threat or physical attack event.

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