Nuclear Regulatory Commission Publishes Annual Security Inspection Report to Congress

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—June 29, 2011. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made available to the public an unclassified version of an annual report to Congress outlining the previous year’s security inspection program. The report is required under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

The report covers the NRC’s security inspection program, including force-on-force exercises, for commercial nuclear power reactors and Category I fuel cycle facilities for calendar year 2010.

“This report underscores the NRC’s commitment to ensuring nuclear power facilities are meeting our stringent security regulations,” said NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko. “We are pleased to share the results of those efforts with Congress and the American public.”

According to the report, the NRC conducted 172 baseline security inspections at all 104 nuclear power plants and 25 force-on-force inspections, which use a well-trained mock adversary force to test a facility’s ability to defend key safety systems and components.

Fifty-five percent of the baseline inspections had no findings. The remaining inspections yielded a total of 121 findings, of which 112 were of very low security significance and six were of greater security significance. Three were Severity Level IV violations, which involve noncompliance with NRC requirements that are not considered significant based on security risk. All were corrected immediately or compensatory measures were put in place, if necessary. Details of security findings are considered sensitive and not released to the public. By comparison, there were 142 baseline security inspections in 2009, of which 73 yielded 135 findings.

The report also outlines the results of 24 force-on-force inspections at nuclear power plants conducted during calendar year 2010. Half of the inspections yielded no findings; the remaining inspections identified 23 findings, including two that resulted from failure of the plant’s security personnel to effectively protect designated components targeted by the mock adversary force during the NRC-evaluated exercises. These plants will be subject to re-inspection in the future. By comparison, there were 22 force-on-force inspections in 2009 with 29 findings and three instances where target sets were not effectively protected from the mock adversary force.

Baseline security and force-on-force inspections of Category I fuel cycle facilities, where uranium is processed into fuel for nuclear reactors, are discussed in the public report, but the details are in a separate, safeguards attachment that is not released to the public.

The public version of the report can be found on the NRC website through a Web-based Adams search for document ML110620438 at: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html.

Source: nrc.gov