• 11 hours PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 13 hours Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 15 hours Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 16 hours Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 17 hours Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 18 hours Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 20 hours Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 21 hours New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 23 hours Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 24 hours Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 1 day Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 1 day British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 2 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 2 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 2 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 2 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 2 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 2 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 2 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 2 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 2 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 3 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 3 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 3 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 3 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 4 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 4 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 4 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 4 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 4 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 4 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 4 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 4 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 4 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 5 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 5 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 5 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 5 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 5 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 5 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
Alt Text

Rising Costs Slow The Growth Of Nuclear Power

High costs and public fears…

Alt Text

Russia’s Nuclear Sector Is Surging

With a long-standing nuclear tradition,…

Alt Text

This OPEC Strategy Could Boost Uranium Prices Next Year

Kazakhstan, the world’s largest uranium…

Energy Digital

Energy Digital

Energy Digital is a leading digital media source of news and content for C-level executives focused on business and all aspects of managing the environment.…

More Info

Faux Commandos Breach Two U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

Faux Commandos Breach Two U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

Imagine you’re an engineer at a nuclear power plant that contains some of the most dangerous materials known to man.  Suddenly, commandos slip past security guards, killing some of your colleagues and blowing up key facilities, potentially leaking deadly radioactive substances into the atmosphere and putting surrounding communities at risk of contamination.  That’s exactly what has taken place at 24 of the United States’ 104 commercially active nuclear power plants.  The only thing is, none of it was real.

In an effort by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to test security at the country’s nuclear power plants, mock raids are conducted yearly.  Like something out of the movies, trained security personnel mimic real-life security breeches, targeting both plant personnel and key facility buildings for termination.

Using a high-tech military-grade laser weapon system known as MILES (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System), the mock commandos simulate gunfire.  The assaults are pre-announced so there is no confusion as to whether or not a “real” attack is taking place.  They are also carried out on three consecutive nights, so each shift of the plants’ security forces have an opportunity to partake in the simulation.

In last year’s mock assaults, commandos were able to successfully damage or destroy critical targets at two of the 24 plants attacked according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Inspectors addressed the security issues at the plants and resolved the shortcomings, but the NRC refuses to release information identifying which plants failed the test, citing concerns that they may be targeted if identities were revealed. 

The NRC claims that roughly one-quarter of U.S. nuclear plants undergo such “war game” style assaults each year, with between two and four being breeched by mock commandos on average.  NRC spokeswoman Holly Harrington says, "We don't characterize (the results) as good or bad because the plants must adhere to our security regulations, period.  If there are these failures, which from time to time occur, they are fixed and the plants are told they have to meet these requirements."

This year the NRC will conduct 25 security drills, three of which will address the corrective actions of plants that failed in the past.  According to Harrington, following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the frequency and strenuousness of the drills became more intense.  “The realism went up,” she says.

By. John Shimkus of Energy Digital




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Anonymous on July 04 2011 said:
    John, energy is more important than the three stupid wars the US is still involved in. There is also no country which has more combat trained personnel available to do security work at or near nuclear installations than the United States of America. Therefore, John, there isn't a nuclear installation in the US that a faux or a real commando could get into if the people in charge of security were not criminally stupid and criminally ignorant, lazy, flying in the friendly skies on skag, or entertaining some young ladies on private property.Now, I remember when I....

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News