A woman’s concerns over security at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant drew a response not only from a plant representative, but also her representative in Washington.
Last month, the woman posted a Facebook message that set off a flutter of responses. She wrote:
“It's come to my attention that the security force at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant which is ..... are losing their side arms and handcuffs very shortly. I also have recently learned that they no longer man their vehicle check point either. This is a concern for the safety of all those working at the plant, as well as possibly very much impacting our community and all those within a 50-mile radius of the plant."
The Glen Rose Reporter reached out to Luminant, which operates the plant, and media relations representative Meranda Cohn explained that some things have changed, but the security level has not been reduced. In fact, Cohn stated, Comanche Peak exceeds the security standards required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Cohn wrote: “Safety and security are the foremost priorities for Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant. Nuclear plants are widely acknowledged to be the best-defended facilities among the nation’s critical infrastructure. In assessing the mix of weapons available to security officers, the industry determined that facilities can achieve their protective goals and still surpass regulatory requirements by keeping their primary weapons and modifying use of some supplementary weapons.
“As a result, the handguns available as one of the back-up weapons are being eliminated from security plans across the nation, including Comanche Peak. This change maintains the highest levels of safety and security of our nuclear facilities by focusing security officer training to prevent radiological sabotage.
“Additionally, today’s security strategy provides officers with state-of-the-art weapons that are more effective than traditional handguns. Handguns are not required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which holds nuclear plants to the highest security standards of any American industry. Comanche Peak exceeds those security standards.”
Congressman Roger Williams, shortly after returning to work in Washington following the 4th of July break, said in his email response that the security issue — for both the nuclear facilities and the communities surrounding them — is “of the utmost importance,” and he will follow up on the subject with Luminant.
“According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant security officers are effective in terms of defending the site from a potential adversary attack,” Williams wrote. “However, I plan to work closely with Luminant and the NRC to make sure all available resources are being deployed to best protect the facility and the Glen Rose community. I will be asking Luminant for a complete briefing and update on the security situation at Comanche Peak and look forward to visiting with them soon.”
Williams (R-Austin) has been the representative for the 25th congressional district since 2013.