NRC urges Waterford 3 to improve security

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 11, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / August 11, 2000

TAFT – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the operation of nuclear power plants, issued a warning to Waterford 3, urging the plant to beef up security.

A drill was held in March which included table-top and live, force-to-force security exercises to test the physical security of the facility.

The exercise turned up a number of perceived “weaknesses in the plant’s security plan,” according to Waterford spokeswoman Allison Predergast.

Since that time a series of meetings and written communications has resulted in Entergy to make a commitment to make permanent improvements in the security program.

The NRC issued a confirmatory order on Aug. 4 to the plant to resolve theweaknesses, and it gave Waterford until Nov. 30 to complete thosecorrections.

“We’ve got half of the commitments completed, and we have every intention of meeting the Nov. 30 deadline,” Prenderast added.Without being specific about the security lapses, calling it “safeguarded information,” Prendergast did say it mostly involved improved physical barriers such as fencing, improving the training for the armed security force and also upgrading the fire-fighting capabilities.

Prendergast said the confirmatory order carries the weight of a regulatory requirement and that the order will be followed up with a second force-on- force drill within 90 days of completing the upgrades to the security plan.

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