NRC publishes annual nuclear security inspection report to Congress

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced on Tuesday that it made an unclassified version of its annual nuclear security inspection program report available to the public following the presentation of the report to Congress.

The report details the NRC's security inspection program, including force-on-force exercises, for category I fuel cycle facilities and commercial nuclear power plants for the 2012 calendar year. The report is a requirement under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

"This report describes NRC's efforts to ensure the protection of the nation's nuclear power infrastructure against terrorist attacks," Allison Macfarlane, the chairman of the NRC, said. "The NRC is committed to ensuring the nation's commercial nuclear facilities continue to be safe and secure."

In 2012, the NRC conducted 173 baseline security inspections at commercial nuclear power plants and 23 force-on-force inspections. The force-on-force inspections use a well-trained, mock adversary force to test the security posture of a facility.

The inspections revealed 153 findings, of which 146 were of very low security significance. Seven of the findings were classified as greater than very low security significance.

In 2011, the NRC conducted 217 security inspections, 193 baseline and 24 force-on-force. The commission identified 151 findings in 2011, 140 of which were considered very low security significance with the remaining 11 classified as greater than very low security significance.

When the NRC identifies a finding during a security inspection, the commission makes sure the issue is immediately corrected. If the issue is not corrected, compensatory measures are put in place if needed. The details of security findings are considered to be sensitive information and are not released publicly.