9/12/01: Clinton among nuke plants that heightened security

9/12/01: Clinton among nuke plants that heightened security

This story originally appeared on Sept. 12, 2001.

The Clinton nuclear power plant, along with 102 other reactors around the country, went to the highest level of security Tuesday morning following the terrorist attacks.

"Yesterday morning, we recommended all nuclear plants to go to the highest level of security," said Jan Strasma, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission office in Lisle. "They all complied."

Details of the heightened security are classified, he added.

In Illinois, there are 11 nuclear reactors at six sites.

Ann Mary Carley, a spokeswoman for Exelon Nuclear, which operates the Clinton plant, confirmed the "heightened level of security awareness." The company operates 10 nuclear power plants with 17 reactors.

"It's our responsibility to safely operate our facilities, to protect the safety of our employees and the public," Carley said. "We will take whatever security measures are necessary to do that."

She also declined to go into detail.

Buildings reopen. Market Place Mall in Champaign and Lincoln Square in Urbana both reopened today.

Federal courthouses around Central Illinois, including those in Urbana, Springfield and Danville, were also back on regular schedules after closing early Tuesday.

Airports await word. Willard Airport manager Joe Attwood said he was waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to make a midday announcement about the possible resumption of air travel.

"I'm not very hopeful. I just think we have a long way to go, with what are going to be the new operating rules, the new security rules and getting the airlines back in the air," he said.

Attwood said the Red Cross managed to accommodate all the air travelers who were forced to land at Willard on Tuesday.

In Rantoul, the airport was still closed this morning.

Rantoul Aviation and Economic Development Director Ray Boudreaux said airport officials there were waiting for a notice from the Division of Aeronautics in Springfield that it was OK to reopen.

The airport had been closed since 10 a.m. Tuesday, when state transportation officials cut off any new takeoffs and required full identification from any planes seeking to land.


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