Skip to main content

Wackenhut and Nuclear Power Plant Security

A little more than an hour ago, Instapundit linked to a story on Facing South dealing with Wackenhut and its work providing security for government nuclear facilities. Also mentioned is the fact that Wackenhut provides security for 31 nuclear power plants, and was employed by NEI to perform what are called "Force on Force" exercises designed to test site security.

The post at Facing South is more or less a carbon copy of the talking points you'll find over at eyeonwackenhut.comm, a Web site operated by the Service Employee International Union which represents security personnel at a number of plants.

One important point: Though Facing South and Instapundit just discovered the SEIU site today, it's been up for quite a while. When it comes to nuclear plant security, I'll just refer to this October 2004 press release we issued when all of the nation's nuclear power plants had met the deadline for enhancing security at every facility:
To meet the NRC's security requirements, the nuclear power plants that provide electricity to one of every five U.S. homes and businesses have taken the following measures:

· increased the size of their paramilitary security forces by 60 percent to a total of 8,000 officers;

· made substantial physical improvements to provide additional protection against vehicle bombs and other potential terrorist assaults;

· increased training for security officers;

· established a rigorous "force on force" mock adversary exercise regime;

· increased security patrols;

· added more security posts;

· increased vehicle standoff distances;

· tightened access controls; and

· enhanced coordination with state and local law enforcement.
In total, the commercial nuclear industry has spent more than $1.2 billion since 9-11 on security enhancements. If you'd like to investigate the issue further, visit our archive on Safety and Security. Over the Summer, we were pretty active in rebutting many of the charges that were leveled by Time in a feature that ran in June. Click here and here for more information on that.

UPDATE: To deal specifically with the Wackenhut charge, I'll quote from an article that ran in The Hill back in 2004 where our CNO, Marv Fertel was quoted:
The industry has spent $1 billion [now totaling $1.2 billion -- EMc] on security upgrades, including the hiring of an additional 3,000 security officers, said Marvin Fertel, NEI vice president and chief nuclear officer.

"It is anything but business as usual," he said of the industry's efforts to improve security since Sept. 11.

Wackenhut, Fertel said, won the contract because of its extensive security experience.

The company now provides security for 30 of the country's nuclear power plants. An ex-Army Ranger with 10 years’ experience and two special-operations veterans will develop the mock attacks, Fertel said.

Wackenhut's bid offered a "very substantive capability," Fertel said.

To avoid conflict-of-interest concerns, the NEI required that the force attacking a facility where Wackenhut provides security could not include security officers from that plant, Fertel said.
Earlier this year, NRC Chairman Nils Diaz told The Hill:
Diaz defended the decision, explaining that the commission designs, administers and grades the tests. Referring to the commission's oversight of nuclear plants, Diaz said, "We're a pain in the neck."
Technorati tags: , , ,

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…