Medill School of Journalism, Jan. 31, 2014: [Nuclear Regulatory Commission members] blundered under questioning on the NRC’s vote to delay a recommendation by its own staff that two people be present when nuclear materials are handled to prevent an insider terrorist attack. The commissioners could not recall how or why they had voted to delay the decision, which they did unanimously in May 2013. [...] “The commission decided not to move forward with that,” [Chairman Allison] Macfarlane said. When asked why she said, “It was a commission decision. I’m not sure what the vote was.” [Senator Barbara] Boxer expressed concerns and frustrations with the decision, saying that in 2011 the Department of Homeland Security had warned that “violent extremists had obtained [insider] positions in utilities” and posed a significant threat.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA): “I am completely flummoxed. This is a big and important issue. This business of a cost benefit analysis, when you’re dealing with a potential terror attack and a takeover of a nuclear plant? You’ve got to be kidding. [...] You found the costs were minimal, less than a million dollars a year.”
Chad Sweet, former official at Department of Homeland Security: “The only way you can actually kill the large-scale number of Americans [is] through the use of this critical infrastructure.”
Published: February 5th, 2014 at 1:00 am ET