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Time Prints Diaz Letter on Nuclear Plant Security

Three full weeks after it initially ran a feature on the security of American nuclear power plants, Time printed a letter from NRC Chairman Nils Diaz disputing the thrust of the story:
Re "Are These Towers Safe?" [June 20]: Nuclear power plants are the most heavily defended elements of our civilian infrastructure. Their defenses--at the direction of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and with a cost of roughly $1 billion to the industry--have been upgraded significantly several times since Sept. 11, 2001. The article unfortunately relies heavily on opinions that do not present an accurate picture of current plant defenses and strategies. The NRC has worked closely with law-enforcement and security agencies at all levels of government to develop protective measures and an integrated response. TIME's story cited an out-of-date study conducted for other purposes that does not reflect present knowledge of nuclear-plant capabilities and accident scenarios. The American people should know that these plants are well protected with multiple layers of defense to ensure safety and security. This agency vigorously monitors plant security to ensure that our homeland is well protected.
For a complete summary of all our entries on the story, click here.

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