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Take it easy: It’s just a couple of nuclear reactors

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Exelon Corp. has decided to make security at its 10 nuclear power plants an internal function after private security guards at its Peach Bottom plant in York County were videotaped sleeping on the job.

Exelon terminated its security contract with Florida-based Wackenhut Corp., even though a review of security at its other plants found “no significant deficiencies.” The lapses at Peach Bottom were an anomaly, said officials for Wackenhut, which also provides security services to U.S. military facilities in Iraq.

Exelon’s security came under scrutiny after a guard, who had previously complained to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, surreptitiously videotaped guards napping while sitting in chairs in the Peach Bottom plant’s “ready” room. The video was later aired on New York television station WCBS.

Nuclear industry watchdog groups have long contended that security at power plants suffers because private security guards often work long hours for relatively low pay.

Final note: The whistle-blowing security guard, fired last fall, has reached a settlement with Exelon over his discharge. Wackenhut’s CEO resigned in the wake of the nap flap.

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