Nuclear Power

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

download word file, 3 pages 4.0

Since their arrival in the late 1960s, nuclear power plants have made a name for themselves. They hold the title of being terrorist vulnerable, environmentally hazardous, over priced, and a space consumer. With all of these negatives it comes as a surprise that humans are spending too much time and money on waste. Nuclear power plants should be shut down.

The nuclear industry has long denied the fact that its reactors are highly vulnerable to terrorist attacks. The question recently surfaced after the terrorist attacks on September 11. Utility officials indicated to the public that they were uncertain if the reactor buildings could withstand a crash from a Boeing 757. The Nuclear Energy Institute did assure Americans that every nuclear power plant has a well-armed force trained to defend against armed assaults.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, this so called well-armed force has not be given proper training.

Guards on nuclear plants are considered to be trained to repel intruders, but the training scenarios they go through has remained unchanged since the mid-1970s. There has only been one change to security rules and that was made in 1994. The change called for a concrete barrier to be placed at the plant's gates. The change was made twenty months after a truck bomb severely damaged the World Trade Center (Stranahan 15).

Between 1992 and 1998, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission conducted exercises to simulate terrorist attacks. The guards in twenty-seven plants failed to keep mock intruders from inflicting simulated damage that put the nuclear core at risk. One mock intruder even bypassed security detection systems seven times.

To make matters worst, at one plant, inspectors found an entry code to an authorized area taped next to a door keypad. At others, unauthorized personnel had access to off-limits areas (Stranahan...