A driver tried to crash a car through the gate of a Duke Energy nuclear facility in South Carolina during the evening of Oct. 2, about one hour after security officers asked the same person to leave when he tried to enter.
After driving through the exit side of the gate, the car struck pop-up barricades that security personnel at the plant activated. Then, the driver backed the vehicle up and drove down a dirt road, where Duke Energy security blocked him in, according to a statement from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.
The driver then drove through a fence after trying to hit the security officers.
Authorities say the driver then drove out of the exit of the plant, where he attempted to hit a security truck with a guard in it. “After driving back onto Highway 183, the driver then drove into Pickens County and pulled onto some property on Jones Mill Road, where shots were fired,” police said.
The source of the gunfire was unknown.
Police say the individual involved is a white male driving a silver 2002 Toyota Camry, which had an Arkansas license plate of 380VDR.
Authorities are seeking the public’s help in locating the vehicle.
Duke Energy says none of its staff were injured during the incident.
The Oconee Nuclear Station has numerous security features, both visible and hidden, including physical barriers and electronic surveillance systems. The site has three nuclear reactors, began generating power 50 years ago on Lake Keowee, and is one of America’s largest nuclear power plants.
“Duke Energy has comprehensive security plans and a well-trained security workforce in place. A vehicle entered an administrative gate, but was not able to access the plant due to our multiple layers of security,” Duke Energy said in statement.
The company operates 11 nuclear units at six sites in North and South Carolina. Duke Energy’s nuclear plants generate roughly half of the electricity for customers in the Carolinas.