In a meeting last week, 19 October, with the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), the Heads of the Swedish nuclear power plants presented a number of long-term and short-term measures to be taken on account of the actions by Greenpeace at Ringhals and Forsmark.
The Head of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, Mats Persson, confirmed that the break-in by Greenpeace did not involve any kind of risk from the standpoint of radiation safety and that the technical security system functioned as it was supposed to.
Eva Halldén, Managing Director at Ringhals and Stefan Persson, Managing Director at Forsmark, think that having a dialog around security at the nuclear power plants is a good thing.
"We have for instance discussed initiatives to help early detection and make trespassing more difficult," says Eva Halldén, Managing Director at Ringhals AB.
SSM highlighted the fact that the nuclear power industry does not need to wait for new regulations to strengthen security at nuclear power plants, rather they can develop the suggested measures that were discussed at the meeting.
"Immediately after this incident, we implemented a number of measures. We discussed them at the meeting today with SSM. We also discussed additional measures that we will be implementing and actions that we are considering," says Stefan Persson, Managing Director for Forsmarks Kraftgrupp AB.
Over the past five years, Ringhals and Forsmark have invested billions of kronor at the respective plants in order to strengthen the physical security and meet the requirements of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.
In January, SSM submitted a report to the government where, together with a number of other agencies, they provided suggestions for strengthening physical security at the nuclear power plants. At the meeting on Friday, the authority pointed out that these processes should be expedited and regulations should be drawn up to expand physical security. Among other things, the authority is looking at the possibility of extending the existing restricted area around the nuclear power plant and to have checkpoints for vehicles outside of the immediate area of the nuclear power plant.
The meeting at SSM was held on account of activists from Greenpeace who penetrated the outer barrier at Ringhals and Forsmark on Tuesday morning on 9 October. The organisation called the action a friendly stress test. A total of 60 activists were taken into custody by police, 30 of which are foreign nationals.
Facts on Government commissions: Physical protection January 2012
At the request of the Government, the Swedish Radiation Authority, together with the National Police Board, Svenska Kraftnät and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, investigated the ability of the plants and society to protect nuclear power facilities and transportation of nuclear materials against threats. In the report that was submitted to the Government in January, the agencies recommended a number of improvements to strengthen security.