Lusby, MD – A bloggers report about lax security at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby is raising concerns among members of the community about the added potential for the facility being a target for terrorists.
The blog, “The Daily Caller,” sent a reporter and videographer from Washington, DC to the plant on the Chesapeake Bay. The story ran Tuesday, Sept. 9. The online publication stated it’s “investigation found that anybody can enter the property, drive through the front gates, park not far away from a nuclear reactor and have no contact of any kind with security.” The report stated that during the time with reporter and videographer were within the plant confines “no one stopped or even seemed to notice them.”
The video, which is just under three minutes, shows a white delivery truck, which The Daily Caller describes as similar to the Ryder Rental truck parked outside the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. That truck was filled with explosives and its detonation resulted in the deaths of over 160 people, left 680 injured and resulted in $680 million worth of damage.
“Exelon’s nuclear stations are highly-secure, virtually impenetrable facilities that are models of security for other industries,” stated plant spokesman Kory Raftery. “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. Due to its location and the network of barrier systems in place, a manned main entrance facility for vehicles is not required to keep our plant, our workers and our community safe. Manned main entrance vehicle checkpoints are not required at many U.S. nuclear facilities and Calvert recently redeployed officers to strengthen its overall security presence. Workers and authorized visitors must pass through multiple screenings, including metal and explosive detectors, as well as a biometric scanner. Individuals authorized to work in more sensitive areas are subject to even greater security measures.”
On Aug. 19 Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant held an open house and a nuclear security officer was at the gate stopping vehicles. Identifications were not requested. Raftery told The Bay Net that the gate position “used to be staffed 24/7.”
The Bay Net spoke with Nuclear Security Officer James Furrow during the Aug. 19 event. Furrow stated he and several other members of the plant’s security detail have prior experience in the Armed Forces. Additionally, the security officers conduct drills four times a year and receive additional training along with the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Team and the Maryland State Police.
“Calvert’s robust defenses include highly trained paramilitary personnel qualified in antiterrorism techniques; state-of-the art cameras and detection systems; military grade weaponry; and a network of engineered barrier systems and fences to repel unauthorized access,” Raftery stated. “These defenses are tested periodically by well-trained adversarial forces, part of a U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) graded force-on-force exercise once every three years. Calvert’s commitment to Security requires continuous improvement. We are constantly implementing lessons learned from security events across the world to create an even safer, more secure environment for our workers and our neighbors.”
Exelon’s ownership and operation of Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant is the result of its 2012 merger with Constellation Energy Group.
On Tuesday evening, Sept. 9 Calvert County Government issued the following statement:
“Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant is required to meet the security requirements set forth by the NRC. We are satisfied that the NRC has conducted due diligence regarding plant safety and security. We remain fully engaged with senior plant management and are confident that the security measures have been designed to protect the facility, their employees and the public. In April 2014 Exelon (formerly Constellation Energy) notified the Board of County Commissioners that enhanced security measures were put in place, resulting in redeployment of gate security guards. All security changes were approved by the NRC. The NRC requires all nuclear power plants to employ a physical protection program that includes intrusion detection and alarm systems, armed response to defend the facilities and other measures that are not shared with the general public. For further information the public can contact the NRC at 1-800-368-5642 or CCNPP Community Relations at 410-495-5221.”
Contact Marty Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org