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Nuclear Plant's Security Comes Under Scrutiny

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A team from the National Regulatory Commission will investigate claims of poor security at Shearon Harris Nuclear plant next week.

Plant owner Progress Energy said it has addressed security issues at Shearon Harris. A guard reported hearing a gunshot while on patrol during the summer and doors were found unsecured for an unknown amount of time.

"Security at the Harris Nuclear Plant and all our nuclear facilities is a top priority for Progress Energy," said Bob McGehee, chairman and CEO, Progress Energy. "When these allegations were brought forth, we launched an immediate internal investigation. While we continue to look at a few of the specific allegations, we have confirmed that the plant is secure and protected."

In November, someone trespassed onto the plant's property last week, got within a mile of the plant's secured area and hung a black flag on a communications tower 75 feet in the air.

Critics argue that the security breaches raise serious questions about the safety of the nuclear reactor and the ability for intruders to access it.

"We welcome the NRC inspection team and look forward to its results," McGehee said. "We will cooperate fully and encourage any employee who has information or concerns about security at the Harris Plant to bring those concerns directly to the NRC team."

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