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Perspective

Seven recommendations to improve TMI's nuclear plant security that have gone unheeded.
Fortnightly Magazine - July 15 2002
  1. which are "safeguarded" and "classified." On March 15, 2002, Exelon asked for a delay in meeting the "prompt" requirements. [Exelon owns a 50 percent stake in TMI with British Energy through a joint-venture known as AmerGen.]
  2. Installation of Physical Barriers
    Recommendation:
    The security building at the North Gate should be hardened to prevent attack by persons or vehicles. Fundamental protective measures would include the utilization of locked doors, bullet-resistant and darkened window glazing, duress alarms, and protective medians to protect the structure from vehicular attack.
    Response: On September 11, 2001, the North Gate was wide open, the guard shack was removed, and AmerGen was unable to deploy additional security measures due to a power outage. On September 12, 2001, TMIA filed a petition with the NRC requesting armed guards be required at all nuclear power plant entrances. On January 16, 2002, The Nuclear Energy Institute recommended that the petition be denied.
  3. Improve Training and Increase Security Staff Numbers
    Recommendation:
    Increase security staffing and the number and intensity of trainings.
    Response: Since 9/11, Exelon has committed to increase staffing. However, the number of dedicated site personnel at TMI has decreased since the sale of TMI. Today, there are between 598-618 employees at Three Mile Island. In 1998, the number was 804.
  4. Double Up on Security
    Recommendation:
    Erect redundancy security fences at the North and South Gate of TMI.
    Response: Security at the North Gate has been enhanced, but the South Gate remains unstaffed. In the summer of 2000, TMIA requested that AmerGen remove neo-Nazi graffiti scribbled at the South Gate. The company had not inspected the area, and was unaware of the desecration of its own property.
  5. Trucks: Take a Note From Border Security
    Recommendation:
    Install a truck lift at the North Gate to inspect the underbelly of vehicles such as the device utilized at the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station [nuclear facility] in Berwick.
    Response: GPU Nuclear opted not to take the same precautions as PPL.
  6. Get Security to Stand Watch
    Recommendation:
    Increase perimeter patrols, especially on the southern end of the island. At a minimum, patrol roads should be provided outside of the perimeter of the fence area as a deterrent, and to enhance early detection. These patrols should include a dedicated, on-site, roving security watch with responsibility for the plant's perimeter, safety-related buildings, nuclear waste storage facilities, and TMI Unit-2. In addition, armed guards may need to be posted at the most sensitive spots of the operating plant.
    Response: None of these measures were introduced. However, the company does deploy roving fire watches in lieu of redundancy fire insulation materials.
  7. Do Not Take Anything for Granted
    Recommendation:
    Periodic boat patrols around TMI. Response: The Governor and Exelon decided the Coast Guard and artillery positions were unnecessary. Governor Mark Schweiker did deploy the National Guard and State Police on Friday, November 2, 2001. The Commonwealth belatedly joined over a dozen states with National Guard and/or Coast Guard detachments assigned to protect nuclear facilities against terrorist attacks. On May 31, 2002, the public learned that the National Guard has been equipped with unloaded