Terrorism and Nuclear Power
The World Trade Center and Pentagon plane attacks have raised concern as to how nuclear plants are protected from such events. Suicidal attacks using airplanes fully loaded with fuel were not considered in the design basis. However, airliner crashes, nearby explosions, and fires have been considered in the design of most plants. The plant safety analysis and the Appendix R regulations govern these design requirements.
In the 4 years since the 9/11 event, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has hardened the security of US civilian nuclear plants to greatly reduce the likelihood of them being a terrorist target. Each plant has multiple barriers to prevent intrusion. Guards are stationed throughout the plants. Roving guards patrol the plants with automatic weapons. Many visitor centers located on plant sites have been shutdown. However, interested school and industry groups can still schedule tours. The NRC has deleted a lot of plant-specific information from their website. However, they still have educational materials available in the students and teachers part of their site.
A number of visitors to this website have expressed concern about where the US nuclear plants are located. The NRC map and table below identify the locations of all plants. In addition, the table identifies the plant licensing docket number, plant type (BWR or PWR), plant owner (or operator), and NRC region that monitors the plant.
The page United States Reactor Information provides a more detaiiled imagemap. In addition, more detailed maps (e.g. with aerial views) are available under certain circumstances.
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