Security Breach at US Nuclear Facility as Driver Crashes Gate, Terrorism Not Suspected

Security Breach at US Nuclear Facility as Driver Crashes Gate, Terrorism Not Suspected

South Carolina - On Thursday night, an individual attempted to breach the exit gates of the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina, and this incident occurred approximately one hour after security personnel had instructed the same vehicle to depart when it tried to enter the premises, according to authorities.

A pop-up security barrier successfully halted the car, which bore an Arkansas license plate, at the Oconee Nuclear Station, located near Seneca, around 8 p.m. as detailed by Oconee County Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Watt.

Following this initial encounter, the driver reversed the vehicle and made an attempt to escape by driving down a dirt road while Duke Energy security staff attempted to block the driver's path. In a concerning turn of events, the driver even tried to hit the security guards before ultimately driving through a fence and exiting the nuclear plant's property, Watt reported.

After departing from the nuclear facility, the driver drove a short distance and turned onto a driveway, where the homeowner fired warning shots, according to investigators.

It was subsequently discovered that the same car had appeared at the site an hour earlier, attempting to breach the gate. Security personnel had intervened during the first attempt, instructing the driver to leave.

Currently, investigators are seeking to speak with a 66-year-old man from Arkansas regarding the incident, designating him as a person of interest. Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw expressed uncertainty about whether the individual has any connections to the nuclear plant or the South Carolina area but confirmed that an investigation is ongoing.

Sheriff Crenshaw emphasized that there is no evidence suggesting this incident is related to domestic terrorism. Security officers raised concerns about the driver's behavior to deputies, indicating that something appeared amiss.

The silver 2002 Toyota Camry, which was involved in the attempted breach at the nuclear plant, was found approximately 19 hours later in neighboring Pickens County. However, the 66-year-old man was not present with the vehicle.

It is worth noting that the car was not registered to the Arkansas man, and it had not been reported as stolen.

Fortunately, none of the security staff was injured during the incident. Duke Energy affirmed the continued safe operation of the Oconee Nuclear Station and explained that the security measures in place prevented the vehicle from accessing the nuclear plant despite entering an administrative gate. Duke Energy highlighted their comprehensive security plans and a well-trained security workforce.

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