Nuke plant security appears to be tight

Nuke plant security appears to be tight

By By Rod Myers, Free Lance Writer

If you don’t think security is tight at U.S. nuclear power plants, just listen to this story. In July, a state employee who wished to remain anonymous spoke at the ComEd LaSalle nuclear power plant near LaSalle-Peru, Ill. on behalf of a fundraising organization. She was not expecting an intense, elaborate security-checking system.

Initial check-in took 45 minutes. Her van was checked, followed by a license plate check, driver’s licenses were checked, Social Security numbers checked and initial metal detection checked. This was done by a security force, each one of whom carried a side arm and an automatic rifle or machine gun.

The next and final phase, which also took 45 minutes, began with a body pat-down search by an armed security person of the same sex conducted on the guest speaker and her family. Then a second detection check was conducted, but this time the guest speaker’s wheelchair was disabled, taken apart and examined. Then the electric wheelchair was re-assembled, properly, I guess, and re-engaged, whereupon the guests were given I.D. badges. Finally, the guests were allowed to enter a building where the guest speaker fulfilled her speaking obligation.

By the way, the guests used the restroom at the nuke plant, but not without being accompanied by a same-sex, gun-toting security guard. Upon leaving, the guests had to state to the security force who they were, where they went and what they did during their visit to the plant. Then they turned in their I.D. badges and were escorted to their vehicles. This process took about 10 minutes. The visitors thought the security was needed, but in the same breath, declared it was unnerving.

“I’d never been so close to that many scary-looking weapons,” said the guest speaker. “I didn’t sleep well for several nights.”

Maybe she didn’t sleep well, but her ordeal makes me sleep a little easier.

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