Today, there are press reports of a security violation at another Exelon nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. As the York Daily Record reported:
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering remedial actions against Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station after observing a security violation during an inspection the NRC conducted in May.
NRC official correspondence to Exelon Nuclear, the company that owns the Peach Bottom plant in southeastern York County, stated that the violation concerns a piece of electronic security equipment at the power plant’s dry cask storage facility, where the plant’s used nuclear fuel is stored.
Once again, the NRC was less-than-forthcoming about the exact nature of the violation:
Neil Sheehan, NRC public affairs officer, said that the NRC and the nuclear industry have a policy of not revealing specific security-related information to the public because that information could be used by terrorists or others with malicious intent. But he said this violation was due to a flaw in the plant’s security program.
Lacey Dean, Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station Communications Manager, said a piece of electronic security equipment wasn’t working properly. Dean didn’t specify which security system, but she cited electronic surveillance, motion detectors and perimeter breach systems as examples of electronic security present at atomic power plants such as Peach Bottom.
The NRC is considering “escalated action” against Peach Bottom over the incident:
Sheehan said that NRC does not pursue “escalated enforcement” against power plants very often. He said those types of incidents are above those of “very low safety or security significance.” Sheehan cited September, 2007, when security guards were caught sleeping on duty, as one recent instance where the NRC pursued escalated enforcement against the plant.
The NRC has not yet issued the escalated action and is awaiting a reply from Exelon. The NRC can issue fines, but Sheehan said tends to only do so with incidents of “deliberate misconduct.”