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Tuesday
Jun142016

Orlando shooter worked for security firm that guards nuclear plants

As reported by USA Today, the perpetrator of the massacre in Orlando, Florida -- Omar Mateen -- had been employed by G4S since 2007.

G4S is connected to nuclear weapons and nuclear power security in the U.S., including at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site, Naval Base Kitsap, Nevada National Security Site (formerly the Nevada [Nuclear Weapons] Test Site, which includes the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dumpsite), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (including its headquaters buildings in Rockville, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.), and URENCO USA (Uranium Enrichment Corporation, which operates a uranium enrichment facility in New Mexico). See below.

G4S is headquatered in the U.K. It is the largest private security firm in the world, with more than 600,000 employees working in 110 countries, the USA Today article reports.

The article reports G4S carried out two security checks on Mateen -- when it hired him in 2007, and again in 2013, the same year FBI agents questioned him regarding connections to terrorist groups. Mateen cleared both G4S security screenings, however, and continued working as an armed security guard for the company right up to his massacre of 50 people, and wounding of nearly as many more, at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

The article reports that G4S is conducting its own investigation, to determine whether company weapons were used by Mateen in carrying out the massacre. G4S also made the odd statement that Mateen was not on the company clock when he carried out the massacre.

Although Mateen's G4S employment was at a gated retirement community, the company is associated with security at numerous nuclear-related facilities in the U.S.

G4S's -- and U.S. government agencies', including the FBI's -- inability to detect Mateen's violent plans before he carried them out, begs the question: what security breaches may exist at U.S. nuclear facilities guarded by G4S-related companies and personnel?

Tom Clements at Savannah River Site Watch in Columbia, South Carolina, sent out the following email message in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre:

The Orlando shooter has been reported to have worked as a security guard with G4S security company.

G4S provided security at the DOE's Savannah River Site until late 2014 and then the company was taken over by a company named Centerra.

Centerra-SRS <http://sro.srs.gov/centerrasrs.html> appears to have
inherited G4S employees, according to an Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle article -
(http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/business/2014-11-25/srs-security-firm-bought-private-group%23):

"G4S Government Solutions said that there should be no changes to personnel or staffing due to the ownership change."

I have emailed SRS about this and if there will be any security review of Centerra-SRS or personnel.

List of sites where Centerra works:
http://www.centerragroup.com/federal-and-commercial-security.html

 

Selected Federal and Commercial Security Customers

 
     
  • Center for Domestic Preparedness
  • DOD Holston Army Ammunition Plant
  • DOD Lake City Army Ammunition Site
  • DOD Lake City Army Ammunition Site 
  • DOD Radford Army Ammunition Plant
  • DOE Savannah River Site 
  • DOE Strategic Petroleum Reserve
  • FPS Michigan
  • FPS Minnesota/Wisconsin
  • NASA Ames Research Center
  • NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Lab 
  • NASA Johnson Space Center
  • NASA Kennedy Space Center 
  • Naval Base Kitsap (WSB) (security)
  • Nevada National Security Site
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • URENCO USA
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center
Friday
Jun102016

U.S nuclear lobbyists want massive ratepayer bailouts for financially failing reactors

The Nuclear Energy Institute has admitted that 10-20 U.S. reactors are at risk of near-term closure, absent massive ratepayer subsidies to prop them up. Failure by numerous atomic reactors, across multiple states, to clear PJM's recent capacity market auction, has compounded their financial distress. Despite Exelon's announced closure dates for three reactors in IL, the revelation of an internal email shows that the company's lobbyists have not given up on a $1.6 billion ratepayer funded rescue package, perhaps during a special legislative session. Watchdog group Nuclear Energy Information Service of Chicago remains vigilant against the bailout. Exelon's economic malaise has now spread to Byron in IL, Three Mile Island 1 in PA, as well as three age-degraded reactors on NY's Lake Ontario shore. The Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE) is rallying resistance in NY in opposition to the proposed nuclear bailout, which would undermine renewable energy funding. FirstEnergy faces the same challenges at Davis-Besse on Ohio's Lake Erie shore. Dr. Mark Cooper, an energy economist at Vermont Law School, predicted these reactor closures three years ago, based on a variety of factors, including age-degradation, economic non-competitiveness, and public resistance. PowerDC, Public Citizen, and DC Sun embody such resistance in the nation's capital, challenging Exelon's takeover of Mid-Atlantic utility Pepco, and its transparent scheme to gouge captive ratepayers to prop up failing reactors in other states. More

Friday
Jun102016

Beyond Nuclear slams court decision favoring NRC on nuclear waste

"STOP THE NUKE WASTE CON JOB" banner, unfurled at the NRC Commissioners Hearing Room at the agency's HQ in Rockville, Maryland, at one of countless "Nuke Waste Con Game" public comment sessions at which environmental watchdogs demanded industry and government "STOP MAKING IT!" Photo by Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear.Beyond Nuclear has responded to last week's ruling, by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, against a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Nuclear Waste Confidence policy, renamed Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel. The suit was brought by a nationwide coalition of environmental groups, states (CT, MA, NY, VT), and the Prairie Island Indian Community of MN. The court endorsed NRC's woefully inadequate risk analysis of high-level radioactive waste storage pool fires and leaks, as well as NRC's false confidence that institutional control of irradiated nuclear fuel surface storage will be assured over time, and a geologic repository opened someday. The ruling flies in the face of very recent reports by the National Academy of Sciences, and Princeton researchers that a U.S. pool fire could unleash a radioactive catastrophe dwarfing Fukushima, and that such a fire was very narrowly averted at Fukushima itself, by sheer luck. The ruling comes amidst ongoing dissent against the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) latest attempt to ram through "consent-based" parking lot dumps and Mobile Chernobyls; public comments expressing non-consent are urgently needed! More

Friday
Jun102016

EPA proposed radiation levels in drinking water risky for the vulnerable

The EPA has issued recommendations for levels of radioactive contamination in drinking water. EPA suggests these levels be used by states in the event of a release of radioactivity. Unfortunately, these guides do nothing to overturn recommendations allowing non-protective food contamination limits, nor is the limit they set protective enough for pregnancy and children since it will not be the only exposure pathway suffered by members public. The public is asked to comment within 45 days of posting in the Federal Register in Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0268. Beyond Nuclear will be asking for an extension on the comment deadline, and will provide comments and talking points. Please watch the bulletin for additional information and actions.

Monday
Jun062016

Beyond Nuclear response to U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit panel ruling in NY v. NRC II, the Nuclear Waste Confidence Lawsuit

Media Statement by Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear’s Radioactive Waste Watchdog, in Response to U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Panel Ruling in New York v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission II,

the Nuclear Waste Confidence Lawsuit:

“We are sorely disappointed by Friday’s ruling. The court did not seem to understand the very sound and forceful arguments our coalition of environmental organizations was making.

Our lawyers are reviewing Friday’s decision. We have options for moving ahead, and we expect a recommendation from our lawyers shortly about next steps. 

Suffice it for now to say, we will continue our efforts to demand the government address the very serious environmental risks posed by atomic reactor operation and highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel generation. More.