Security Guards at San Onofre, 5 Other Nuclear Power Plants Now Allowed to Carry Assault Rifles

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The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been offline since January 2012. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

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U.S. nuclear regulators have granted Southern California Edison permission to arm private security guards at the defunct San Onofre power plant with assault rifles and “ammunition feeding devices.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted Edison and five other nuclear power plants the special exemptions as a way to secure the facilities and the spent nuclear waste they store on-site.

The Diablo Canyon Power Plant, the last nuclear generating station operating in California, got the exemption, as well as four plants in New York state.

“The requested amendments would permit licensee security personnel to use certain firearms and ammunition feeding devices not previously permitted, notwithstanding state, local and certain federal firearms laws or regulations that otherwise prohibit such actions,” the commission wrote.

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