Local News

Shearon Harris Officials Believe Plant Prepared For Potential Attack

Posted September 4, 2002

— Since Sept. 11, Progress Energy has spent $1.4 million increasing security at the Shearon Harris power plant.

The Shearon Harris power plant is one of four Progress Energy nuclear plants in North Carolina and South Carolina. Its new security measures, including special fences with sophisticated cameras and electronic surveillance, were completed last Saturday.

"We've ended up building an integrated response plan with our local law enforcement and military and North Carolina Highway Patrol, and we have integrated that very effectively," said Eugene Martin, manager of nuclear safety.

One of the security measures at the power plant is a checkpoint where every vehicle going into the plant is checked out. Guards are heavily armed and can hold anyone who attempts to breach security.

"They take their jobs very seriously day in and day out. It's a reflection of my security manager," said Jim Scarola, vice-president of the Shearon Harris plant.

"An analogy I would use is the cockpit crew in a jumbo jet. Everyone has to work together and they have to be prepared for the unexpected 24 hours a day," operations manager Terry Hobbs said.

Progress Energy officials said they cannot comment specifically about some of the security steps they have taken. However, they did say though that communication between law enforcement agencies and nuclear plants should improve even more if the Homeland Security Department gets the go-ahead.


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