SCRIPT: Radioactive Road Trip 10/05

BRIAN ROSS

If there were security cameras, no one responded to strangers climbing next to the windows of the reactor. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission security head was surprised about that.

BRIAN ROSS

Should they have been able to get this close for so long undetected?

ROY ZIMMERMAN

That's one that I would like us to understand better.

BRIAN ROSS

This bothers you?

ROY ZIMMERMAN

Yes.

BRIAN ROSS

But that's not all they found. As they went to check if the building's doors were locked ...

KARSON YIU

It's open. Access in the middle of the night.

BRIAN ROSS

And then around to the other side of the building. The president of the University of Arizona told us he believes the reactor is safe and secure and would not make an attractive target for terrorists.

MATTHEW BUNN, FORMER NUCLEAR SAFETY ADVISER

It confirms fears that I've had for a long time.

BRIAN ROSS

We showed our tapes to Harvard University's Matt Bunn, a former White House advisor on nuclear safety. He says what our students found is further evidence the NRC has not been tough enough requiring universities to properly secure their nuclear reactors.

MATTHEW BUNN

They don't have to have armed guards. They don't have to have a security plan in place to defeat terrorists trying to come in. They don't have to be protected against a truck bomb.

BRIAN ROSS

Instead, most of the college reactor security plans rely on a quick response by campus police. Our students rarely saw any campus police anywhere near the nuclear facilities.

BRIAN ROSS

Is that really good enough?

MATTHEW BUNN

No.

BRIAN ROSS

In the wake of what we know about al Qaeda?

MATTHEW BUNN

No.

BRIAN ROSS

And again at a second unguarded college reactor, Steve and Karson found they could easily move around at night unchallenged. This one at the University of California in Irvine.

STEVE GROVE

That's going to be a sweet shot, dude.

BRIAN ROSS

Within minutes they made a surprising discovery at a building door just above the reactor.

STEVE GROVE

We did a little walk around the building and got to this backdoor just above the reactor on the first floor. And somebody had propped a book into the door actually. It was called ...

KARSON YIU

"Dancing With Bees."

STEVE GROVE

"Dancing With Bees."

BRIAN ROSS

The reactor director here said the inside door to the reactor was locked but he acknowledged the outside door should also have been locked. Again, our students saw no sign of campus police, the supposed quick response team.

STEVE GROVE

We stuck around for about 45 minutes.

KARSON YIU

Maybe an hour.

BRIAN ROSS

And it remained open?

KARSON YIU

It remained open.

MATTHEW BUNN

Security costs money, and if you actually imposed serious security requirements on them, many of them would probably end up shutting down.

BRIAN ROSS

As Karson and Steve moved across the southwest, they moved to the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque and a different kind of surprise.

STEVE GROVE

Our trip to New Mexico has not led us to believe that there's much of a way to get into this nuclear reactor.

BRIAN ROSS

The nuclear reactor here is one of the smallest on any campus but is one of the few where the research reactor director turned away the strangers with backpacks.

KARSON YIU

We asked for a tour. And he just flat-out turned us down. He said, 'I'm sorry, since September 11th, we just can't do this kind of thing.'

BRIAN ROSS

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...