The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said that it is creating a new, streamlined office for security in response to the September terrorist attacks.

NRC’s newly created Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response combines security duties from the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards and the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

The Nuclear Reactor office handles operating nuclear power plants and non-power reactors. The Nuclear Material office handles non-reactor nuclear sites, such as waste storage facilities.

“We think it is going to make a lot of sense in light of the post 9-11 world to have one office,” said NRC spokesman Victor Dricks. “It is a matter of efficiency – eliminate repetition and better oversight.” Within the new office, the NRC will: • Run the NRC programme for responding to incidents and be in charge of NRC communications with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

• Handle security policy and oversight for nuclear reactors, decommissioning facilities, and spent fuel storage installations.

• Oversee international safeguards for nuclear material.

• To offer technical support and coordination for safeguards and develop contingency plans.

• Administer NRC counterintelligence, secure telecommunications, and classified and declassified programmes.
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