Commercial nuclear power plant operators are required to provide protection of their plants against radiological sabotage, including the identification of areas that contain equipment, systems, and components that must be protected to prevent malicious acts that could directly or indirectly endanger the public health and safety by causing exposure to radiation. This process – identifying areas that need to be protected against sabotage – is known as vital area identification. USA Nuclear is a recognized leader in this environment.
Recently, as part of our contract with Sandia National Laboratories to support the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Office of International Nuclear Security (INS), USA Nuclear Senior Security Consultant Joe Rivers conducted a vital area identification assessment of the Lone Pine Nuclear Power Plant. The Lone Pine Nuclear Power Plant was initially developed by Sandia National Laboratories to support international training on nuclear security.
Our work enables INS to discuss and demonstrate the process of vital area identification to countries around the world. Such analyses of actual nuclear power plants are typically sensitive and cannot be broadly shared, so the work helps shape global security standards.
Meet our nuclear subject matter expert.
Joe Rivers recently retired from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission as its Senior Level Advisor on Security. As chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Security Assessment Methodologies (NUSAM) for Regulated Facilities Coordinated Research Project that ran from 2013 – 2017, Joe Rivers led an effort to fully model the Lone Pine facility so that it could be used to demonstrate how to conduct security assessments of nuclear power plants.
In 2015, Joe Rivers conducted an Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Workshop on Vulnerability Assessment Tools. As part of this workshop, three vendors demonstrated the modeling and simulation of the Lone Pine Nuclear Power Plant and its security systems. Further enhancements were made to the Lone Pine facility model in 2018 by Sandia National Laboratories. The assessment produced by USA Nuclear updated an earlier vital area identification assessment taking into account the 2018 update to the facility.