United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Protecting Our Nation: A Report of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NUREG/BR-0314, Revision 3)

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Publication Information

Date Published: October 2013

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Foreword from the Chairman

Since 2004, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has published and periodically updated “Protecting Our Nation” to provide an overview of the various ways in which the NRC protects our nation’s civilian nuclear facilities from harm and works to ensure that radioactive material does not fall into the wrong hands. We are pleased to provide this updated edition to continue to share this important information with the public.

Since the last edition, published two years ago, the NRC has continued its strong commitment to nuclear security. Recent changes to some of the NRC’s security regulations will further strengthen our already rigorous program. We are also focusing significant attention on cyber security. The NRC recently developed and issued a cyber security roadmap to evaluate the need for cyber security requirements for fuel cycle facilities, nonpower reactors, Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations (ISFSIs) and byproduct materials licensees. In January 2013, the NRC began conducting inspections of power reactor licensees’ cyber security plans and implementation.

The NRC is also working cooperatively with its international regulatory counterparts to share best practices and lessons learned. In December 2012, the NRC hosted the first-ever International Security Regulators Conference with the objective of deepening our relationships with security regulators around the world. In addition, our extensive cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) helps ensure that our program benefits from international insights, and vice versa. The NRC hosted an IAEA International Physical Protection Advisory Service mission in an effort to seek further feedback on some aspects of our security program from the international community.

As many of you are aware, one important component of the NRC’s security program is emergency preparedness and response. The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident reinforced the need for nuclear regulators to prepare themselves and their licensees to handle all kinds of emergencies, irrespective of their cause. At a nuclear site, safety and security systems are inherently integrated. The NRC is overseeing licensees’ enhancements to their emergency communication and staffing plans as part of its effort to implement lessons learned from this accident. In addition, we continue to work diligently with our licensees and Federal, State, Tribal and local government officials in conducting safety- and security-focused drills and exercises. Our consistent attention to emergency preparedness and enhanced coordination with responsible organizations helps ensure that the NRC and its licensees would respond effectively to a variety of scenarios.

The tragedy of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks left an indelible imprint on our memory and served as the catalyst for lasting enhancements to the NRC’s security program. Drawing upon this, we must be prepared to address threats from a variety of adversaries. We don’t need to look further than the daily newspaper to see that both are constantly evolving. In this publication, you will learn about the many ways in which the NRC and its licensees work together to maintain a robust security program that protects some of our nation’s most sensitive assets.

Allison Macfarlane
Chairman, NRC

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, October 02, 2013