NRC Proposes FBI Checks|for Access to Reactors

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Individuals wishing to have unescorted access to nuclear research and test reactors-reactors that do not produce power-will have to submit to fingerprinting and a criminal back ground check, according to regulations proposed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

     Before Sept. 11, 2001, the agency did not require background checks or fingerprinting for unescorted access to research and test nuclear reactors. Some were even located on college campuses with little or no security checks required.
     Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, from 2002 through 2004, research and test reactor licensees voluntarily implemented security measures including site-specific background investigations for individuals granted unescorted access.
     Some of these background investigations included provisions for Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint-based criminal history records checks, other facilities required local or state law enforcement fingerprint-based criminal history record checks, and some required no fingerprinting at all.
     After 2005, the agency required fingerprinting and criminal background checks for unescorted access to the areas of any nuclear facilities, power generating or otherwise, which were classified by the agency as “risk-significant” areas.
     In 2009, the agency decided to develop blanket requirements for fingerprinting and background checks prior to granting unescorted access to any area of nuclear facilities regardless of the facilities power generating status. The proposed rules would implement this decision.

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