Byron Generating Station

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Following the horrific events of 9/11, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, ordered that security measures be enhanced at every plant including the Byron generating station.

Three years ago our country was viciously attacked, opening our eyes to the reality that anything could be a potential target for terrorists. The nuclear industry responded immediately, bolstering security and placing the industry on a heightened level of alert.

"Prior to 9/11, the facility had a high level of security, but we're just expanding it, adding another layer, another significant level of protection, " says Byron vice president, Stephen Kuczynski.

Ten million dollars has been spent on security enhancements at the Byron plant.

“We've installed a vehicle barrier system, a very robust detection fence, have installed elevated resistant enclosures around the perimeter," says Kuczynski.

The facility is a fortress of unrelenting physical barriers, and penetrating the steel reinforced containment building which protects the reactor vessels would be nearly impossible.

"Defense and depth, outer security barrier of the plant itself, inside there are levels of protection, design itself is so robust," says Kuczynski.

Kuczynski says in the unlikely event of a terrorist attack, risks to public health would be very low. According to one study, in more than 90 percent of scenarios, ground based terrorist attacks on a plant would not result in a radiation release severe enough to pose a health risk.

Many say power plants are probably our best defended targets and the security in place at the Byron plant reinforces that claim.