American Barcode & RFID helps nuclear power plants meet increased security standards.
Online PR News – 23-December-2009 – – In response to the increased potential of terrorist attacks against key infrastructure facilities, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has raised security standards for nuclear power plants. American Barcode & RFID (AB&R) has created a custom ID verification security solution to help a major power provider meet the NRC’s new security requirements while also increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
The U.S. nuclear energy industry is serious about safety. Nuclear power plants are designed and built to very high safety standards and include many complex safety features and redundant critical functions. For over fifty years these steps have kept the possibility of a catastrophic reactor accident from becoming a reality. However, the potential to deliberately create a catastrophe makes nuclear power plants attractive targets for terrorist attack or sabotage.
With this potential threat in mind, the NRC now requires all nuclear power plant security programs to include strict access authorization or ID verification measures. These measures must control access to the plant, monitor movement within the facility, and prevent unauthorized, undesirable, and unsafe intruders from gaining access to areas where special nuclear material or key equipment are located.
When AB&R took on the task of helping a major nuclear power facility comply with the latest NRC security regulations, they quickly saw that their client’s legacy ID cards were going to be a problem. The cards lacked bar-coding, which hampered rapid ID verification, and their laminated coating was easy to peel off and susceptible to tampering.
“The specific requirements of the application, along with the critical timetable for implementation, complicated the solution. NRC audit constraints dictated a wireless infrastructure for real-time ID verification along with a credential that was essentially tamper-proof,” explained Ted Morgan, AB&R’s Director of Card Security Solutions.
AB&R’s solution to the client’s ID verification issues was to create a custom application that would provide real-time verification of ID credentials and access authorization using wireless portable data terminals and Zebra P640i card printers. The enhanced features of the P640i enabled the issuance of highly secure ID badges that serve both as employee identification and access verification. While the system is currently utilizing barcode technology to verify each distinctive credential, it is designed to accommodate migration to new ID cards equipped with UHF RFID technology. UHF RFID credentials enhance ID verification by leveraging time and distance factors in data recognition and retrieval.
AB&R deployed the new system and trained the security staff in its use faster than anticipated, with negligible disruption of daily plant and security operations. Within a few weeks of installation, the security staff issued tamper-proof, personalized badges to the plant’s entire population of over 2,500 employees, contractors and vendors.
Today, anyone seeking entry to the client’s facility must first present their ID badge, printed and encoded by a Zebra Card Printer, to a security guard. Utilizing a wireless portable data terminal, the guard then scans the card and receives instant confirmation of identity through the custom application developed by AB&R.
Given how the new ID verification security solution helps plant security quickly identify and react to potential threats, it should come as no surprise that the client passed its subsequent NRC compliance audit. The Director of Security for the facility confirmed, “Not only did AB&R successfully meet all of the audit specifications, they completed installation and training ahead of schedule. The audit went great! We are very pleased with the application they developed and the professional support they continue to provide.”
About American Barcode and RFID Inc.
Founded in 1980, American Barcode and RFID Inc. (AB&R) is a nationally-recognized technology integrator of innovative Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) solutions that help customers manage assets, track inventory, mobilize their work force, and secure their work place. AB&R "Puts Information to Work" with its specializations in bar code, radio frequency identification (RFID) and secure card technologies. Based in Phoenix, Arizona and with sales offices throughout the United States, AB&R is committed to helping medium-to-large companies use AIDC solutions to help realize cost savings, operational efficiencies, and increased security. For further information about American Barcode and RFID, Inc., please visit www.abrfid.com.
About Zebra Technologies
Zebra Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq: ZBRA) provides the broadest range of innovative technology solutions to identify, track, and manage the deployment of critical assets for improved business efficiency. Zebra’s core technologies include reliable on-demand printer and state-of-the-art software and hardware solutions. By enabling improvements in sourcing, visibility, security and accuracy, Zebra helps its customers to put the right asset in the right place at the right time. Zebra serves more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies worldwide. For more information about Zebra‘s solutions visit http://www.zebra.com.