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Wednesday, 31 October, 2001, 06:14 GMT
US steps up nuclear security
Three Mile Island nuclear plant
There are more than 80 nuclear plants in the US
The United States has tightened security around major nuclear facilities following a new warning about the threat of further terrorist attacks.

The Federal Aviation Authority has placed a week-long ban on any aircraft movements within 20 kilometres of more than 80 nuclear plants.

Aircraft can only pass over these sites at altitudes above 5,500 metres, which means commercial flights should not be affected.

FAA administrator Jane Garvey called for co-operation from the aircraft industry.

President Bush pitching baseball
President Bush pitched the first ball in New York
"The FAA realises these restrictions inconvenience general aviation pilots and airports," Ms. Garvey said in a statement.

"As the FAA and other federal agencies continuously review measures to ensure national security, we look for the understanding and co-operation of the general aviation community."

World series

Tough flight restrictions have also been imposed over New York during this week's World Series baseball matches, at which President George Bush symbolically pitched the first ball on Tuesday evening.

These new measures follow a warning by Attorney General John Ashcroft that there was a "credible" threat of fresh terrorist attacks on the United States.

An unacceptable number of deficiencies continue to occur; the result is a growing lack of confidence

Norman Mineta
Us Transportation Secretary
On Tuesday, US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta announced a reinforcement of security at US airports.

These will include more thorough searches of baggage and of passengers.

Mr Mineta said that the security measures taken so far since the 11 September attacks were inadequate.

Airport checks

"An unacceptable number of deficiencies continue to occur.

"The result is a growing lack of confidence and increasing criticism of the actions that are being taken by the Federal Aviation Administration, and I want to reverse that trend," he said.

US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta
Mr Mineta spoke of continuing security problems
Mr Mineta said that FAA officials were determined to crack down on any failures in the security systems in place, even if it meant delaying flights.

The new measures come after a man carried a pistol undetected through security checks at New Orleans airport last week.

The BBC's Nick Bryant
"The whole country is on a high state of alert"
See also:

26 Oct 01 | Americas
New anti-terror laws for US
27 Oct 01 | Americas
UN sets anti-terror deadline
10 Oct 01 | Americas
America's 'most wanted terrorists'
10 Oct 01 | Americas
Bush's man to thwart terror
14 Oct 01 | Americas
NY urged not to panic over anthrax
31 Oct 01 | Americas
Terror alerts worry US press
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