Commercial nuclear plants are safe and secure. Bill Gates said in 2012, “Nuclear energy, in terms of an overall safety record, is better than other energy,” and that is still valid today. A large contribution to the impressive safety records at nuclear plants is the strong security force and systems in place to prevent adversaries from causing radiological sabotage.
Security at nuclear plants has traditionally been implemented by using guidance from Subject Matter Experts (SME). However, with increased threat levels and the rapid pace of technology advancement, maintaining peak security level performance is becoming more challenging. In the past, more guards, responders, and equipment was the suggested solution to keep these assets safe. This approach has worked, but is it optimal and efficient?
Security Risk Assessment (SRA) tools have been widely adopted by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Defense (DoD), providing a thorough and structured evaluation of security at major nuclear facilities. Nuclear plants can benefit from the DOE and DoD lessons learned by using a structured approach that leverages computer modeling and simulation (i.e., SRA tools) to assess, improve, and optimize security systems.
Bottom Line Impact
SRA implementations always maintain, but typically improve, security performance while generating cost savings as a result of optimizing assets, reconfiguring forces, and reducing posts. Given that many plants have been continually retrofitted to accommodate evolving security requirements, opportunities exist for SRA tools to review, assess, and optimize the security system to assure optimal performance and minimize economic considerations.
Tighter security at less cost – that’s the true value of incorporating SRA tools into security programs.
Explore current challenges in NPP Security and how to optimize your security assets using SRAs. Download our report on The Use of Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tools for Nuclear Power Plant Security Assessment.