Swedish nuclear plant used janitors as guards

Nov. 3, 2008
With trouble in motion sensors, nuclear plant turned to custodial staff to be eyes and ears

Managers at a nuclear plant in Sweden used maintenance staff to guard the facility while the alarm system was malfunctioning, according to a report released yesterday by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, which says the incident was "serious" because the janitors had no training as security guards.

In early October, 20 to 25 cleaning and maintenance staff were deployed in shifts to help guard parts of Oskarshamn's perimeter because the motion sensors were not working. They were instructed to alert security if the outer fence was breached. The surveillance cameras and other security measures were still working.

The authority also criticized the plant for not documenting the incident properly.

Oskarshamn said in a statement that it had taken the report's criticism to heart, and that managers made that decision because the inner security fences had been intact, equipped with the necessary alarm and surveillance equipment (Louise Nordstrom, AP/Anchorage Daily News, Oct. 30). -- HDM

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