National Guard troops stationed at NY nuke plants : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


By LOU SORENDO, Managing Editor

SCRIBA -- Army National Guard troops dressed in camouflage fatigues and toting M-16 rifles took up posts Saturday at a half-dozen nuclear reactors around New York, including the three nuclear plants at Nine Mile Point, according to Gov. George Pataki's office.

Army National Guard troops are providing security at the Nine Mile Point Units I and II as well as the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant facilities at Nine Mile Point in Scriba.

Pataki said no specific threats had been made against New York's nuclear plants but "deploying our Guard troops to augment existing security ... will provide added peace of mind to New Yorkers and an added deterrent."

The guard troops are members of the New York Army National Guard 27th Brigade, headquartered in Syracuse.

The deployment "is a prudent action ... in light of the continuing general threats being made by terrorist groups" since hijacked planes toppled New York's World Trade Center towers and destroyed part of the Pentagon on Sept. 11, the governor's office said in a prepared statement.

Local activity

Bonnie Bostian, manager of communications at Entergy Nuclear Northeast's James A. FitzPatrick plant, said the facility remains on the highest level of security awareness, which has remained in effect since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

Bostian noted that Oswego County Sheriff's Department deputies are supporting the effort.

The Army National Guard's role is to "augment and enhance our security corps," Bostina said. Only badged employees are allowed on site, as well as personnel whose service is integral to the operation of the plant, she added.

Enhanced security measures will be in effect as "long as needed," Bostian added.

Alberto Bianchetti, spokesperson for Niagara Mohawk's Units I and II plants, said the presence of the armed National Guard troops at Nine Mile Point is not in response to any specific threats.

"Their presence is consistent with the governor's comprehensive approach to broaden security efforts at airports and other public transportation facilities," Bianchetti said.

Bianchetti said the utility has been in "constant communication" with local, state and federal authorities which are responding to the "new security environment."

When asked if the facilities would withstand the type of attack sustained on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, Bianchetti was tightlipped.

"It would be inappropriate to speculate against any specific threat," Bianchetti said.

A "60 Minutes" segment on CBS Sunday evening examined the threat terrorists may pose to the nation's nuclear reactors. It was conceded that nuclear power plants were not designed with the threat of an aerial assault by suicide bombers commandeering commercial airliners in mind. However, the broadcast did say containment around nuclear reactors would effectively resist that type of attack.

In Rochester

At the Robert E. Ginna atomic plant, one of America's oldest, soldiers with the state's 27th Brigade stood at the ready at several entrances and patrolled the perimeter. They declined to answer questions about their mission, according to an Associated Press report.

The 470-megawatt plant, which sits on the shore of Lake Ontario 16 miles east of Rochester, uses 60 tons of uranium a year. It supplies half of operator Rochester Gas & Electric Corp.'s electricity -- enough to serve between 200,000 and 300,000 homes.

The brigade also was ordered to deploy soldiers at the two Indian Point reactors in Westchester County north of New York City.

The soldiers will provide relief for state and local police who have been helping guard nuclear plants in the last month. They will remain on duty there as long as needed to augment security, Pataki said.

Last week, troops from the same brigade were ordered to boost security at 19 airports across the state, and guardsmen also have been placed at train stations, tunnels and bridges in New York City.

Ginna, which opened in 1970, was refitted with new generators in 1996 and its license expires in 2009.

-- Martin Thompson (, October 15, 2001


From 1984-1990 the CIA supplied $800 million of weapons including Stinger and HEAT missiles to anti-russian terrorists in Afghanistan. Stingers will keep US helicopters grounded in Afghanistan, but the danger within the US are the HEAT. High Energy Anti Tank missiles are armour piercing and are capable of breaching containment domes on nuclear power plants.

-- Mark Blaine (, October 17, 2001.

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