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US Nuclear Reactors Vulnerable to Terrorist Threat Report
RIA Novosti ^ | 08/16/2013 | RIA Novosti

Posted on 08/16/2013 2:38:18 AM PDT by TexGrill

WASHINGTON, August 15 (RIA Novosti) – Security measures at US commercial and research nuclear facilities do not provide adequate protection against potential terrorist threats, a report by researchers at the University of Texas says.

The report, prepared under a contract for the Pentagon by the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project (NPPP) and released on Thursday, provides a comparative analysis of threat assessment at nuclear facilities in the United States used by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Defense (DOD).

Titled “Protecting U.S. Nuclear Facilities from Terrorist Attack: Re-assessing the Current ‘Design Basis Threat’ Approach”, the report finds that none of the 104 commercial nuclear power reactors and three civilian research reactors is protected against a maximum credible terrorist threat on a scale of September 11, 2001 tragedy.

The study singles out eight nuclear power reactors located on the US seaside as they are not required to protect against seaborne attacks.

The three civilian research reactors that are fueled with bomb-grade uranium, including the one located at the National Institute of Standards and Technology only two dozen miles from the White House, are prime targets of terrorist theft as they are not as well protected as similar military facilities, the report says.

(Excerpt) Read more at en.rian.ru ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Military/Veterans; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: useconomy; waronterror
And who will soon be in charge of US Homeland Security?


1 posted on 08/16/2013 2:38:19 AM PDT by TexGrill
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To: TexGrill

This is just stupid.

How is anyone going to steal irradiated reactor fuel from a research reactor?


2 posted on 08/16/2013 2:44:55 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: TexGrill

whatever the vulnerabilities, i’m 100% certain this administration will be as transparent as possible and release it on the internet

through a cut out... obviously.

i wouldn’t doubt wiki-leaks has a dead drop @ the old ebbit


3 posted on 08/16/2013 2:50:18 AM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: Pontiac

The same crowd that trains to be suicide bombers.


4 posted on 08/16/2013 3:27:40 AM PDT by Pecos (Kritarchy: government by the judges)
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To: sten

“The study singles out eight nuclear power reactors located on the US seaside as they are not required to protect against seaborne attacks.”

Thanks for pitching underhand.


5 posted on 08/16/2013 3:35:04 AM PDT by Artie (We are surrounded by MORONS)
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To: Artie

Is this article in a Russian publication?

Full Report:
http://blogs.utexas.edu/nppp/files/2013/08/NPPP-working-paper-1-2013-Aug-15.pdf

From the article:

The three civilian research reactors that are fueled with bomb-grade uranium, including the one located at the National Institute of Standards and Technology only two dozen miles from the White House, are prime targets of terrorist theft as they are not as well protected as similar military facilities, the report says.


6 posted on 08/16/2013 4:05:43 AM PDT by Whenifhow
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To: Pecos
The same crowd that trains to be suicide bombers.

Sorry Pecos. I don’t care how willing you are to die it can’t be done. These research reactors are basically a very deep pool of water with a reactor core setting at the bottom.

The reactor is controlled by moving neutron absorbing control rods into or out of the core using remote controlled motors.

It requires special equipment to handle the fuel because if the fuel is raised to with in a few feet of the surface of the water anyone that can see the fuel will receive a lethal dose of radiation in a few seconds.

If someone wanted to remove the fuel from the reactor pool and take it away they would have to bring special transport cask to the reactor building lower this cask that weighs around 20 tons in to the pool. Then load the cask with the irradiated fuel using the remote controlled machines. Then seal the cask again with remote controlled tools raise the cask out of the pool and place it on a specially built trailer and drive away with the irradiated fuel.

Now this whole process takes weeks to perform by people trained to do it and we are to believe that terrorist will be able to do it in a couple of hours without causing enough of a ruckus to draw the attention of the police that they will fail in stealing weapons grade reactor fuel.

Now the idea that reasonably intelligent terrorist would even attempt such a mission is laughable. Especially when there are so much more easy soft targets available.

7 posted on 08/16/2013 6:13:09 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: TexGrill

Well that’s it then; we better hurry up and shut them down.


8 posted on 08/16/2013 6:42:44 AM PDT by Ghost of SVR4 (So many are so hopelessly dependent on the government that they will fight to protect it.)
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To: Artie

pretty much


9 posted on 08/16/2013 7:15:42 AM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: Pontiac

I appreciate you knowledge of the topic, but whoever said those people were sane? ANYTHING can be tried once. That’s all I’m sayin’


10 posted on 08/16/2013 8:53:17 AM PDT by Pecos (Kritarchy: government by the judges)
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To: Pecos; Pontiac

FRiend, you are suffering from a “failure of imagination”.

Just ‘cuz you can’t imagine how it could be done doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Never underestimate your enemy.

Anyone who witnessed the NYC Twin Towers majesty before 9/11 could not believe those towers could possibly collapse, but they did. For some, the fall was beyond comprehension.

US gov’t “in charge” of air attack safety favors terrorists piloting aircraft into either spent fuel pools or reactor buildings.

Or what about a Level 4 biological or poisoning attack in the control room, where all the operators were killed and rescue for the plant came too late?

What about loss of temperature control via a hack attack on SCADA systems, a common tactic now? Or failure of backup power during a widespread power outage?

What about... things we haven’t imagined could happen?


11 posted on 08/16/2013 11:56:04 AM PDT by LurkedLongEnough
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To: LurkedLongEnough
Please remember that I was speaking specifically about the theft of reactor fuel from a research reactor.

That it could be successfully be accomplished is laughable because the physics of the problem make any attempt a guaranteed to be fatal to the thief in a matter of a few hours at most which is far less time than would be necessary to accomplish the task.

Yes insider sabotage of power reactors is a possibility that the industry is well aware of and counter measures are in place and are continually upgraded.

12 posted on 08/16/2013 2:37:32 PM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: TexGrill

Those of us who have actually worked within the nuclear complex can tell you this study is grossly flawed. You need only read the limited source materials the author used in making her case and the absence of any references that contradict her thesis. And the lack of any expert review.

But if you read the press on this report, it sounds like it was actually commissioned by the “Office of the Secretary of Defense, which provided financial support for the research”. Inquiries to DoD say the report was not requested by the department. DoD just funds the program as a whole at the University and has no knowledge what’s coming out, until it’s out. We all know how this works.

There was no expert peer review, and the report only represents speculations of the student and her adviser. Even the cartoon on the front page is childish. The authors confuse nuclear weapons with nuclear energy, and have no first-hand knowledge of the security aspects of these facilities, since they have no access to such highly classified information.

But hey, just wing it! What could go wrong?

What’s stranger yet is that UT has an amazing number of nuclear experts, any one of whom could have reviewed this report, if asked. UT even has Dale Klein, former NRC chairman and nuclear security expert at the Pentagon (March 5, 2010 Speech). Why was he purposefully ignored?

The fact is, nuclear plants are the best-defended places in the country outside of a military base. They use physical security, access deterrents and cyber defenses to make them the most secure of all industrial facilities. Just ask the FBI and DHS (U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Department of Homeland Security; background information).

In a recent NRC report to Congress and the entire intelligence community, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission laid this issue to rest. We’ve all been thinking about this a lot since 9/11, and even the terrorists know nuclear plants are lousy targets. They’re about as military-hardened as you can get. A 747 crashing into one would do little, except to the passengers. It would take a bunker buster to breach it.

And why does anyone think you can steal spent fuel? Or that if you did, you could use it to make a weapon? Don’t they know the first thing about nuclear energy? Or nuclear weapons? Or science? Even a School of Public Affairs knows when to ask experts in a field outside their own expertise.

This was a good old-fashioned ideological hit job on nuclear. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were trying to hype a book or something…

The report also implied that nuclear power plants should be able to repel invading armies. Isn’t that the job of the military? I guess over 9,000 extremely well-armed and highly trained security officers, mostly ex-military and law enforcement, at 62 reactor sites aren’t enough. Only Iron Man will do.


13 posted on 08/18/2013 8:01:56 PM PDT by sefarkas (Why vote Democrat Lite?)
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To: TexGrill
Academic paper
14 posted on 08/18/2013 8:03:55 PM PDT by sefarkas (Why vote Democrat Lite?)
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