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Concern at plan to remove Handguns From Guards At Nuclear Power Plants

Gov’t Taking Away Handguns From Guards At Nuclear Power Plants, Daily Caller, ANDREW FOLLETT, Energy and Science Reporter , 27 Apr 17, Security guards at nuclear power plants will soon be prohibited from carrying handguns, according to a Wednesday statement by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

TVA claims that a recent regulatory review concluded handguns were obsolete compared to other security measures protecting the power plants, but would not clarify what these new measures were citing security concerns. TVA seemingly intends to remove handguns from their security system by the end of the year.

TVA’s own security officers have gone on record strongly objecting to the change.

“Radiological release, that’s what they’re after. Terrorists are after to kill as many as they can in the quickest way.” Paul Tackett, a veteran nuclear security officer at TVA’s Watts Bar reactor, told a local news station. “They’re [TVA] talking about taking away our handguns. I mean, if we’re utilities at night, we have no way of protecting ourselves.”

A successful theft of uranium from a nuclear power plant could have catastrophic consequences. The sort of low-quality uranium and plutonium used in nuclear reactors could be used to make low-tech nuclear explosives often called “dirty bomb.”

“The safety and security of our facilities and host communities is and will always be our top priority,” a spokesperson for the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Our security officers employ powerful weapons such as automatic rifles and shotguns, meaning that phasing out sidearms does not reduce our solid commitment to safety and security.”

“Anything is possible to happen at anytime,” Tackett said. “It was just a few years ago when we had an officer shot at out here.”

A dirty bomb combines radioactive material with conventional explosives that could contaminate the local area with high radiation levels for long periods of time and cause mass panic, though it would be millions of times weaker than an actual nuclear device. The Islamic State (ISIS) has expressed interest in stealing this kind of radioactive material for a dirty bomb…….


April 28, 2017 - Posted by | safety, USA

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