14 July 2014
There were 37 security breaches and incidents at nuclear power plants across the UK last year, according to the Civil Nuclear Police Authority (CNPA).
That is the highest number in the last three years, and includes the loss or theft of electronic devices, the unauthorised disclosure of secret documents and the compromise of personal data.
CNPA provides heavily-armed police forces at eight nuclear power stations around the coast, as well as at three major nuclear facilities: Dounreay in Caithness, Sellafield in Cumbria and Harwell in Oxfordshire. Its mission is to “deter any attacker whose intent is the theft or sabotage of nuclear material whether static or in transit.”
Its latest annual report, published on 10 July, reveals that there have been 96 “security breaches and security incidents” over the last three years: 34 in 2011-12, 25 in 2012-13 and 37 in 2013-14. Most of the incidents are categorised as “low level”, with no further details being given.
In 2013-14 there were two incidents recorded as “loss or theft of protectively marked electronic equipment, devices or paper documents from outside secured Civil Nuclear Constabulary premises”. Another two were said to involve “unauthorised disclosure through insecure transmission of protectively marked documents” (see table below).