Midwest nuclear plants restrict public access


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Oct. 1, 2001 — Nuclear Management Co., which manages six nuclear plants in the Midwest, Monday said heightened security measures have ended public tours at the facilities “for the foreseeable future.”

Nuclear plants continue to operate at the highest level of security following the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, DC, Sept. 11.

NMC-operated plants include Duane Arnold Energy Center near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, owned by Alliant Energy – IES Utilities, Central Iowa Power Cooperative, and Corn Belt Power Cooperative; Monticello plant near Monticello, Minn., and the two-unit Prairie Island plant near Red Wing, Minn., owned by Xcel Energy Inc.; Point Beach nuclear plant near Two Rivers, Wis., owned by Wisconsin Electric; Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant near Kewaunee, Wis., owned by Wisconsin Public Service Corp., Alliant Energy-Wisconsin Power & Light, and Madison Gas & Electric Co.; and the Palisades nuclear plant in Covert, Mich., owned by Consumers Energy Co.

The Point Beach energy center and fishing pier are closed to the public, and hunting is prohibited on all plant-owned property, NMC said. At Kewaunee, the fishing pier and nearby Carlton Trails Park are both closed to the public.

At the Monticello nuclear generating plant, NMC said bow hunting is prohibited or restricted to a limited number of permits.

Immediately after the attacks, the US Nuclear Regulatory Agency advised nuclear power plants to go to the highest level of security, and has since advised licensees to maintain heightened security. Measures generally included such things as increased patrols, augmented security forces and capabilities, additional security posts, heightened coordination with law enforcement and military authorities, and limited access of personnel and vehicles to the sites.

The agency said it continues to monitor the situation, and is prepared to make any adjustments to security measures as may be deemed appropriate. If the NRC determines existing security procedures warrant revision, it said such changes would occur through a public rulemaking.

NRC is coordinating with the FBI, other intelligence and law enforcement agencies, NRC licensees, and military, state, and local authorities, the NRC said. The NRC said it has also established communications with nuclear regulators in Canada and Mexico.

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