Earlier today, Alex Pappas of The Daily Caller published a story concerning security at Exelon's Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. The story included video of Pappas driving his car past a deactivated checkpoint and into the plant's parking lot. Since the story was first published, it was subsequently featured on Fox and Friends as well as Special Report with Brett Baier.
We shot a note to Kory Raftery at Calvert Cliffs to get his take on the story:
The fences and checkpoints you see at Calvert Cliffs are only a small part of our defense in depth security strategy. In fact, much of our defense lies in the things you can’t see.Simply put, Pappas and his vehicle passed through a gate that was outside the protected area (see below diagram). So while his vehicle wasn't stopped, it wasn't in any sort of position to threaten public health and safety.
Due to its location and the network of barrier systems in place, perimeter fencing and manned vehicle checkpoints are not required to keep our plant, our workers and our community safe. Manned entrance facilities are not required at many U.S. nuclear facilities and Calvert recently redeployed officers to strengthen its overall security presence.
|The Daily Caller never got inside the plant's protected area.|
Since 2001, the nuclear industry has spent more than $2 billion on security enhancements, including the addition of thousands of highly qualified security officers. This layer upon layer of formidable security includes physical barriers, followed by state-of-the-art detection technology, followed by sophisticated protocols for plant access, followed by added surveillance capabilities, and backed by a protective force of thousands of highly trained, well-armed officers.Have to wonder out loud why a link to that piece didn't wind up in today's story.
While Pappas might have gotten into the parking lot outside the plant's protected area, there were more than a few people who knew that he was there and were ready to respond if he had posed a threat. Just because he couldn't see those people doesn't mean they weren't on the job. It’s 9/11 week, and some sensationalized click hunting is to be expected, but needlessly frightening folks without more complete reporting is bad journalism, plain and simple.
For more details on nuclear plant security, please visit our website or watch this video.