Security Modifications


Courtesy of Black & Veatch Corporation

B&V Energy provided major security upgrades on a tight timetable to help the nuclear facility comply with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) directive to fortify against increasingly sophisticated attackers.

After the attacks on September 11, 2001, life in the United States was tinged with a feeling of unease. An unforeseen vulnerability was exposed and security was immediately brought to the forefront of American minds. The government began to work to guard its most precious assets, its citizens.

To safeguard its people, one of the highest priorities for U.S. national security is the protection of the nation's nuclear assets. Following the September attacks, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) set an aggressive timetable for all U.S. nuclear plants to increase their security measures, fortifying them against increasingly sophisticated attackers.

One such nuclear asset, the Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville, Nebraska, called on Black & Veatch to provide major security upgrades on a tight timetable. With a history of expertise in nuclear design, Black & Veatch joined with a small specialty engineering firm that was already working on the necessary security modifications. Working with national security experts from Black & Veatch's Federal Services Division and with valuable input from the Black & Veatch engineering team on the Lungmen nuclear project in Taiwan, the companies successfully completed the design of the needed modifications.

Furthermore, Black & Veatch took full responsibility for and seamlessly orchestrated the installation of the crucial and complex project with no injuries or safety violations, demonstrating the level of professionalism for which the company is renowned.

The Cooper Nuclear Station security upgrade project was put to the test when the NRC conducted a force-on-force drill, or mock intrusion. The results of the drill were excellent, and the NRC approved the upgrades as successfully implemented.

As a result of Black & Veatch's superior client service throughout the security modification project, Cooper Nuclear Station has worked with Black & Veatch management to train Black & Veatch personnel on additional aspects of the plant's facilities, and contracted with Black & Veatch to make other needed modifications. These new projects extended Black & Veatch's work on the Cooper Nuclear Station through 2005 and into the future and have allowed the company to approach other U.S. nuclear plants by referencing this security modification experience.

Despite complexities, tight deadlines and other hurdles, performance excellence is a must for clients, and in the case of the Cooper Nuclear Station, performance excellence is exactly what was delivered.

Black & Veatch's exceptional project execution resulted not only in client satisfaction, but also in the preservation of peace-of-mind for the community of Brownville, Nebraska, and the greater community of the American people, a true reflection of the spirit of Building a World of Difference.

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