Brave New System, or Same Old Same Old?


Another bit of info pulled from the crate:

A 1995 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists explains the legal channels for public participation in oversight of nuke power plants.   “The Public As Enemy: NRC Assaults on Public Participation in the Regulation of Operating Nuclear Plants” outlined the various methods used by the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) to keep the public out of the loop.

For instance, the only way the general public could initiate any kind of action related to an operating power plant as to use a “2.206” or “show cause” petition, requiring lots of signatures from concerned citizens. The NRC gave these petitions “virtually automatic denial,” and courts decided the denials could not be appealed. Essentially, the NRC was able to say, “NO, you can’t ask that question, and we don’t have to tell you why.”

Also, the NRC routinely violated “due notice” requirements for public meetings. (“What if we hold a meeting and make sure nobody attends?”)

In addition, the NRC frequently turned over inspection and reporting duties to the nuke power plant owners.  The finished reports would be made available to the NRC on the nuke plant site, keeping them out of the public’s reach. If the same reports had been sent to the NRC offices, the law would have required they be put  on public display.

So my questions today — in the past twenty years, has the system changed?  Or is the NRC still in the habit of colluding with nuke plant owners to keep all that messy stuff in the shadows?

About Deanne E. Gwinn

Writer: screenplays, fiction, poetry
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