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NRC releases nuke plant security measures, leaves aviation regulation up to FAANRC releases nuke plant security measures, leaves aviation regulation up to FAA

NRC releases nuke plant security measures, leaves aviation regulation up to FAA

Nuclear power plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week announced new security requirements for nuclear power plants but did not overstep its jurisdiction by trying to regulate aviation. In fact, it specifically said the FAA and military were charged with addressing the possibility of airborne attacks.

"We continue to work with Congress, the FAA, Department of Defense, and other government agencies to show that general aviation does not pose a threat to nuclear power plants," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs.

In 2002, AOPA commissioned a report about the threat - if any - that GA could pose to nuclear power facilities. The results dispelled many myths by showing exactly what GA aircraft can't do.

  • Penetrate concrete containment area around nuclear power plant
  • Cause release of radiation, even if packed with explosives
  • Cause safety failures at auxiliary plant buildings
  • Ignite the Zirconium cladding on spent nuclear fuel

In 2004, the Government Accountability Office released its own report that also said GA posed little risk to these facilities. It pointed out that nuclear power plants were designed to withstand an accident involving an airliner.

January 31, 2007

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