Security Faulted at Calvert Cliffs Plant

By Guy Leonard, The County Times

HOLLYWOOD, Md.—Federal regulators found gaps in the security measures at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant after a six-month inspection at the twin reactor site in Lusby, though the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will not release the specific details of the issues.

Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the NRC, said that a letter from a nuclear reactor safety regulator to Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, which owns and operates the site, informs the public of the issue in basic terms only.

“Because this involves security there’s not much detail,” Sheehan said of the public announcement. “That goes back to 9/11.”

Sheehan said that the NRC decided to withdraw more sensitive information that would have been made available after the terrorist attacks 10 years ago for fear that such information could be used to exploit such a sensitive target.

Sheehan said that the security issue was listed as “greater than green” which is the lowest of the four security findings on NRC’s color-coded scale.

After green comes white, yellow and then red, being the most serious, he said.

Sheehan said that NRC regulators were confident in their findings but that Constellation officials have the right to contest the finding before a final ruling is made.

“We engaged the company on that and we expect them to fix it,” Sheehan said, adding that the fault was corrected by the plant staff before the inspection team left.

The entire inspection lasted from Jan. 26 to July 13, according to an email from Sheehan.

Because the finding is a preliminary one, Sheehan said, no actual violation has been issued, though if the finding is finalized into an official violation of security it would mean more oversight and scrutiny at the plant from the NRC.

A letter from Christopher G. Miller, director of the NRC’s Division of Reactor Safety, stated that the single finding of the security fault had to do with plant management’s inability to get employees to follow all the proper procedures.

“The finding has a cross-cutting aspect in the area of human performance for failing to effectively communicate expectations regarding procedural compliance and personnel following procedures,” Miller wrote in a letter dated July 26.

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