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energy security

WhisprWave Boat Barrier

WhisprWave® Boat Barrier


Tsunami Uncovers Nuclear Reactor’s Thirst and Highlights Need for Boat Barriers
Incident Reinforces the Fact that Water Intakes Require Additional Security Measures to Protect them from Small Boat Attack

SUMMIT, N.J. — March 25, 2011 — Establishing, demarcating and physically securing maritime security zones with boat barriers around the cooling water intakes and waste water discharges for America’s 104 nuclear power plants is a necessary nuclear security upgrade, particularly in light of the recent Tsunami induced nuclear disaster in Japan.  The Tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011 created a domino effect that resulted in the Fukushima Ai Ichi Nuclear Power Plant’s reactors overheating due to the failure of its water-cooling system.  This incident put a global spotlight on a key vulnerability of the world’s nuclear reactors.

In light of the events of 9/11, security officials have been vocal about the need to improve critical infrastructure security. Boat barriers provide a visible physical deterrent for inadvertent recreational boat traffic from entering the security zone.  Boat barriers also establish a physical layer of security to deter, deny and delay terrorists utilizing water-borne improvised explosive devices (WBIED) delivered via a small boat.

There have been a number of small boat terrorist attacks against critical infrastructure assets. In October 2002, a 15-foot suicide small boat attacked the M/V Limburg, a French-flagged VLCC supertanker, off the coast of Yemen, disabling it and causing substantial explosion and fire related damage.  In October 2001, the Tamil Sea Tigers in Sri Lanka attacked the M/V Silk Pride, an oil tanker, with five small boats, also damaging and disabling this vessel. While refueling in the Port of Yemen in October 2000, the USS Cole was attacked by an explosives laden small boat, which put a gaping hole in the side of the vessel. The small boat threat is real and the need for boat barriers to protect high value and critical infrastructure is clear.

The US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) strategy for the small boat threat is outlined in “The 2008 Small Vessel Security Strategy.”   The document outlines four primary threat types posed by small boats, the WBIED specific threat is outlined below:

“Use of small vessels as Water Borne Improvised Explosive Device – small, explosive-laden vessels used as “boat bombs” against another vessel, maritime critical infrastructure, or key resources”

A WBIED small boat attack resulting in the starvation of a nuclear reactor’s cooling supply is the scenario that is most likely considered, further supporting the logic that nuclear cooling intakes need to be protected by boat barriers.

On April 29, 2003 The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a revision to its Design Based Threat (DBT) (which describes the approximate size and attributes of the threats against which licensees must defend their facilities). These included the implementation of security measures to guard against waterborne attacks.  Waterborne attacks via small boat or otherwise are clearly on the NRC’s security roadmap.  The exact details of the plans are classified, but in light of the nuclear incident in Japan it is prudent for the US Nuclear Industry to “harden” its security infrastructure and implement robust, survivable and industry tested boat barriers, such as the WhisprWave® line of floating security barriers.

For more information, visit http://whisprwave.com or call Jonathan B. Smith at (908) 233-7503.

About Wave Dispersion Technologies, Inc.:

Wave Dispersion Technologies, Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of floating security barriers and floating wave attenuators, with over 50 product installations , on four continents, of its patented WhisprWave® line of innovative maritime solutions for the following markets: government, military, commercial and consumer. The Company has been developing the technology for 15 years and holds eight Domestic and International Patents for design and utility, with another 20 patents pending.


Jonathan B Smith
Chief Operating Officer
Wave Dispersion Technologies, Inc.
[email protected]


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