Wednesday, September 10, 2008

UCS comments on NRC security information openness and transparency

After 9/11, the NRC not only re-drew the line but also re-crafted its rules of engagement with the American public on security policy making. Essentially, the NRC’s post 9/11 rules of engagement preclude the public from meaningful input, and severely limit the public’s access to output from the NRC’s security policy decision-making. It is not only possible but essential to responsibly discuss nuclear plant security policy in public. That fact has been demonstrated repeatedly since 9/11 by open Congressional hearings, many broadcast far and wide by C-SPAN. UCS’s experts have testified at open, public Congressional hearings as have representatives of other public interest groups. Yet the NRC has resisted repeated attempted by UCS to engage the agency in responsible, productive dialogues like those conducted with the Congress. Like Congress has done, the NRC must engage public stakeholders about nuclear plant security policy issues in enough detail so that the public can make informed judgments on the adequacy of NRC’s post-9/11 security measures. We are convinced that this can be achieved without disclosing information that would aid terrorists in carrying out attacks against nuclear facilities.
Letter from Union of Concerned Scientists to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (pdf)

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