Mike M. Ahlers
February 18, 2009
Editor’s note: the following confirms part of the story related by an Indiana county municipal official about the attempts by FEMA and DHS to prepare a Hazard Mitigation Plan. Included in the plan was the “hardening” of fire and police stations. According to the official, FEMA and DHS used hardened nuclear plants as an example. See D. H. Williams, Is FEMA & DHS preparing for mass graves and martial law near Chicago?.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted Tuesday to require any future nuclear power plants to be designed to withstand strikes from commercial jetliners, addressing a possible terrorist scenario that has haunted some people since the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Citizen activists have sought such a rule since the attacks, saying the consequences of an air assault would be catastrophic.
But industry officials and some commission members opposed the requirement, contending that the probability of any such attack is small and the costs of the protection would be prohibitive.
Consequently, the resulting rule contains language that is subject to interpretation, and debates over the steps nuclear power plant designers must take are likely.
Nonetheless, people on both sides of the debate declared victory Tuesday.
“This decision will go a long way toward protecting Americans from the horrific possibility that terrorists could target our nuclear plants with large aircraft,” said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts. “This ruling may have come later than I would have wanted, but it will certainly help keep our cities and towns safe from a catastrophic attack.”