The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it plans to improve security procedures in the wake of an investigation into an al Qaeda suspect’s employment at several U.S. nuclear power plants. The investigation by the commission’s inspector general was carried out at the request of two New York Congressional members, after it emerged that the al Qaeda suspect had worked for 6 years at nuclear power plants in the Northeast, mainly the Salem/Hope Creek plant in New Jersey. The inspector general’s report, which is heavily redacted for security reasons, said the suspect’s had unescorted access to the sites where he worked. However, it notes he did not have access to “safeguards information” or computer systems. The commission defines safeguards information as that likely to have “a significant adverse effect on the health and safety of the public” if disclosed. The inspector general’s report said the suspect’s behavior should have raised suspicions.
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