Nuclear, O&M, Reactors

Threat to Three Mile Island nuclear plant deemed non-credible

NRC monitoring continues and website restored

Oct. 18, 2001 — A potential terrorist threat directed at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has been determined by the intelligence community to be non-credible.

However, when the threat came into the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, it was taken seriously, resulting in a number of security measures taken by TMI’s licensee, Exelon, as well as by other Federal and State authorities.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is continuing to closely monitor security at all nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel facilities around the country.

Contrary to some rumors, the agency has not ordered any plants to shut down for security reasons. Some plants are, as usual, shut down for normal refueling and maintenance.

All nuclear power plants have remained at the highest level of security since September 11. Subsequently, the agency has advised all of its licensees of additional actions considered prudent and appropriate to strengthen security further. The NRC is closely monitoring the actions being taken to enhance security.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and the continuing uncertainty about future terrorist intentions, the agency is conducting a comprehensive review of its safeguards and physical security program at the direction of Chairman Richard A. Meserve, with the support of the Commission.

On September 26, Chairman Meserve sent letters to the governors of 40 states that have nuclear power plants or other NRC-regulated nuclear facilities, advising them that it would be prudent to establish clear liaison between nuclear facilities and state authorities in the event that state security forces might be needed to augment security. Clear lines of communication among the State, the NRC and licensees have been established.

The NRC continues to maintain close contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, other intelligence agencies and other law enforcement, military and state authorities to assess the latest threat information and to discuss current conditions and plans.

NRC’s website, which was closed down last week, was restored Wednesday with a limited amount of information. Taking down the agency website was a precaution to make sure it did not contain information that could be helpful to terrorists. As the agency’s review continues, other information and documents deemed non-sensitive will be added to the site.