RealNews

Reactors Abroad

Despite the criticism being aimed at it, nuclear-plant security in the U.S. is superior in some ways to that of other countries. Earlier this year the British government reported that from April 2003 to April 2004, nuclear-plant security was compromised more than 40 times; guards failed to answer an intruder alarm during a burglary, for instance. In 2003 Greenpeace volunteers breached the control building of a plant and scaled the reactor dome. Before 9/11, most plant guards were unarmed, but in April the government established the Civil Nuclear Constabulary to supply armed guards. So far, however, it consists of only 650 guards and staff, who are responsible for 43 facilities nationwide. Japan also traditionally used unarmed private guards. In May 2002 the National Police Agency sent armed members of its Gun Measures Corps to augment security around the clock at the 16 plants that house Japan’s 53 reactors. But there has been little public outcry over the plants’ vulnerability. Japanese nuclear watchdog groups are mostly also anti-gun. Armed guards will just “intimidate local residents and infringe on their rights,” says Baku Nishio, co-director of Tokyo’s Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center. Japan does not legally require nuclear-plant workers to submit to background checks.Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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