Waterford 3 beefs up security

Enhancements include mile-long concrete wall, 2.5 miles of fencing, detection system

Residents driving near Waterford 3 in Killona have noticed some major changes at the nuclear plant, including a mile-long concrete wall around the perimeter of the plant that is designed to keep both unauthorized people and vehicles away from the facility.

Entergy spent $5 million to beef up security at the site, and besides constructing the 4-foot-high by 4-foot-wide wall, added additional fencing, increased the amount of vehicle barrier concrete blocks and installed a new state-of-the-art detection system. The goal of the system, which can monitor and detect intruders, is to make sure only approved personnel can enter the new, expanded boundary area.

“We want people to know that there is no known threat to the facility, but that these changes were made so that we can stay ahead of the game,” Waterford 3 spokesman Carl Rhode said. “That’s something we are always looking to do.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently identified the needed security enhancements, and Waterford 3 became the first nuclear facility in Entergy’s fleet to undergo the improvements.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is constantly evaluating and monitoring nuclear plants to make sure that they have the needed security,” Rhode said. “We are one of the early adoptees.”

And it wasn’t an easy process.

The enhancements included installing more than two and a half miles of new fencing and 1,360 fence poles. It required moving over 8,000 tons of concrete blocks and manufacturing more than 700 tons of new concrete blocks to build the mile-long wall around the perimeter of the plant.

Waterford 3 will also undergo a second phase of security enhancements, but that will consist of strategic and tactical procedures only, Rhode said.

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