For example: "Peach Bottom Plant Worker Fired" WJZ TV news video (November 1, 2007)
It's an inspiring sight: individuals whose job it is to guard one of America's nuclear power plants:
- On duty in the ready room
- Fast asleep
The guard who videotaped them snoozing has been fired. Understandably, since after he got no response going through the 'proper' channels, the tape went public.
I know that it's in a company's best interests to listen to internal reports of incompetence, and that there are whistle blower laws: But I also know that there are many managers and executives who are breathtakingly foolish.
- Good news:
Security at Peach Bottom didn't rely entirely on the snoozing guards
- Bad news:
If something had gone wrong at Peach Bottom, about 188 square miles could have become uninhabitable, and thousands of people would have died - including some in New York City and Washington, D.C.
View Larger Map
There's been some attention paid to Peach Bottom since then, and it may be a while before guards hit the snooze button there. It's even possible that there will be a little more attention paid to the possibility that terrorists might decide to walk in and make a nuclear 'accident' happen.
Meanwhile, I'm profoundly grateful that for my immediate family, the nearest nuclear power plant is dozens of miles away, and, on average, downwind.
Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.
A rather official view of atomic reactors and safety is online, at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) website: "CRS Report for Congress - Nuclear Power Plant Security and Vulnerabilities" (January 18, 2008) (Order Code RL34331)