Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey) 2022242742
Lawmaker concerns about security gaps highlighted by new report funded by Pentagon
Washington (August 15, 2013) - Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.), member of the Foreign Relations Committee, reacted to the release of a new report, "Protecting U.S. Nuclear Facilities from Terrorist Attack" that highlights vulnerabilities of America's nuclear power plants and facilities to possible terrorist attack. In the House of Representatives, Senator Markey was a leader on ensuring the security of U.S. nuclear power plants, including authoring provisions to increase protections at civilian nuclear facilities that were included in the 2005 Energy Policy Act
"After the September 11th attacks, we discovered that alQaeda had considered attacking a nuclear power plant in the U.S., and we know that terrorists continue to search for targets that would cause the greatest level of damage to our people and economy. This includes the horrific possibility that terrorists could attack our nuclear power plants and facilities.
"This new report details something that has concerned me all along - that the United States is inadequately prepared for a terrorist attack on our nuclear plants and there is much more to do to guarantee that our nuclear power plants and facilities are safe and secure. The Fukushima meltdowns made clear that things once believed impossible can happen, and we must ensure that every nuclear power plant in the United States abide by the highest standards for safety and security."
Senator Markey has a long history of working on nuclear security issues. With thenSenator Hilary Clinton, he jointly introduced the Dirty Bomb Prevention Act, and worked to include some of its provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Those provisions were a first step toward securing dirty bomb materials. Additionally, his provisions to increase protections at civilian nuclear facilities were also included in the 2005 Energy Policy Act. Senator Markey added provisions to require the distribution of potassium iodide to residents living within ten miles of a nuclear power plant to the 2002 Bioterrorism Bill, a provision which has not yet been implemented. Since 9/11, Senator Markey repeatedly has urged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to require all nuclear reactors to be required to resist large aircraft impact; that reactor security forces to be prepared for a significant terrorist attack using modern weapons and explosives; and that new reactor designs include technologies and design features that would mitigate against terrorist attacks.