- The Washington Times - Monday, January 29, 2007

1:11 p.m.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission concluded today that it is impractical for nuclear power plant operators to try to stop terrorists from crashing an airliner into a reactor.

Plant operators instead should focus on limiting radioactive release from any such airborne attack, the agency said in a revised defense plan for America’s nuclear plants.

The agency approved the new defense plan, most of which is secret, by a 5-0 vote at a brief hearing in which it was not discussed in any detail.

The new plan spells out what the operators of the nation’s commercial nuclear power plants must be capable of defending against. It assumes that a terrorist attack force would be relatively small and that its weapons would be limited.

Critics of the NRC have said the revisions, which have been in the works for more than a year, do not fully take into account the threats to nuclear reactors in light of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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