Who Guards Nuclear Power Plants? A Comprehensive Look at Nuclear Security

The safety of nuclear power plants is of utmost importance, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for providing regulatory oversight to ensure that these plants are secure. The NRC conducts force-versus-force exercises at each nuclear power plant at least once every three years to assess the security of the plant. Selena Ng, Areva's director for Southeast Asia and Oceania, believes that the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan is a wake-up call for the nuclear industry to be more transparent about safety issues. The security of nuclear weapons and military research involving nuclear materials is handled by different agencies than those responsible for civil security, due to the need for secrecy.

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is the Federal Government body that monitors and identifies the risks of solar radiation and nuclear radiation in Australia. ARPANSA's studies have led to additional mitigation capabilities being put in place at all nuclear power plants. An effective physical protection system must take into account the particular nuclear installation, the type of nuclear material used, the threat, and any potential consequences should prevention fail. The NRC's regulations have made nuclear facilities some of the safest critical infrastructures in the country.

Eleven of Russia's reactors are of the RBMK 1000 type, similar to that of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which experienced a devastating accident in 1986. Critics of the nuclear industry argue that regulatory bodies are too closely linked with industries themselves to be effective. Nuclear power plants and certain fuel manufacturing facilities must demonstrate that they can defend against a set of adversarial features known as the design-based threat. The containment building and its missile shield are key barriers to radioactivity release in the event of an aircraft hitting a nuclear power plant. New nuclear power plants must be designed, located, and constructed in a way that prevents accidents during commissioning and operation, and mitigates potential releases of radionuclides that cause long-term external pollution.

Nuclear fuel is a strategic resource whose continuous supply must be ensured to avoid plant disruptions. The obligations of Contracting Parties are largely based on the safety principles for nuclear installations outlined in IAEA Safety Series No. The National Nuclear Security Administration's Office of Defense and Nuclear Security (DNS) ensures that security missions are effectively and efficiently executed at all NNSA sites and facilities. Unstable nuclear material can lead to an uncontrolled energy excursion if it behaves unexpectedly.