Probability of Occurrence

Technical and Policy Challenges

Approaches to Mitigation

Potential for 9/11-type attacks is high in the near term

Stopping airplane attacks that deliver large amounts of energy directly on target

Perform vulnerability analysis of NPPs

Harden vulnerable NPPs and improve redundancies of critical safety systems

Unclear in the near term

Providing security against all types of attacks

Minimize the amount of fuel stored onsite

Potential for 9/11-type attacks is high over the next 5 years, but targets would be difficult to locate or severely damage

Stopping airplane attacks that deliver large amounts of energy directly on target

Perform vulnerability analysis of spent nuclear fuel storage sites

Move vulnerable spent fuel in wet storage to dry cask storage

High—materials and means are readily available, and there are few preventive measures in place

Training first responders to deal with these types of attacks

Improve first responder capabilities

Improve public education

High—materials and means are readily available, and there are few preventive measures in place

Training first responders to deal with these types of attacks

Improve first responder capabilities

Improve public education

nuclear utility companies has applied to the USNRC for a license to construct a centralized dry-cask storage facility (the Private Fuel Storage Facility) in Utah west of Salt Lake City. This facility, if licensed and constructed, could house up to 40,000 metric tons of spent fuel contained in up to 4,000 above-ground storage casks on thick reinforced-concrete pads (Private Fuel Storage, 2002).

The threat of terrorist attacks on spent fuel storage facilities, like reactors, is highly dependent on design characteristics. Moreover, spent fuel generates orders of magnitude less heat than an operating reactor, so that emergency cooling of the fuel in the case of attack could probably be accomplished using low-tech measures that could be implemented without significant exposure of workers to radiation. Dry cask storage systems are very robust and would probably stand up to aircraft attacks as well.



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