What are the plans in case of large fires and explosions at Comanche Peak (Somervell County)? NRC Doesn't Want You to Know Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

Luminant Argued to Keep this Secret

What are the plans in case of large fires and explosions at Comanche Peak (Somervell County)? NRC Doesn't Want You to Know

20 November 2009 at 12:45:44 PM

From Karen Haddon of SEED coalition

NRC Shuts Public Out on Comanche Peak and South Texas Project Compliance with Fires and Explosions Rules

The public was shut out of the bulk of two hearings last week on whether the proposed Comanche Peak and South Texas Project (STP) nuclear reactors have met new Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rules requiring plans to deal with large fires and explosions. The Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition will soon file a motion with the NRC to release the related legal pleadings and transcripts.
“We’ll be filing a motion to open up documents in order protect public health and safety. Crucial safety related information must be made available,” said Karen Hadden, Executive Director of the SEED Coalition. “The plans for dealing with fires, explosions and aircraft impacts are inadequate. The public has a right to decide this for themselves by reading the documents firsthand before billions of dollars get sunk into nuclear power.”
The new NRC fire safety rule states that each licensee must "develop and implement guidance and strategies intended to maintain or restore core cooling, containment, and spent fuel pool cooling capabilities” to deal with “loss of large areas of the plant due to explosions or fire," including those that would occur from the impact of a large commercial airliner. 
The vast majority of the oral arguments held on Nov. 11th and 12th for the two reactor sites were closed to the public.  All of the related legal documents are being withheld from public disclosure as well. The NRC withholds information that it deems ‘sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information’ or SUNSI. This designation turns out to be very ambiguous. If even a single sentence in a document is sensitive, the entire document is withheld from the public. The situation could and should be remedied by striking small segments as needed and disclosing the documents to the public as soon as possible.

Yes. It's really easy to redact documents. The public has a right to know what the NRC is deciding with regard to large fires and explosions. One wonders if they don't want to bring this up to preserve the myth that nuclear power is 100 percent safe (NOT!) 

 “The NRC is sweeping important non-security related information under the ‘sensitive documents’ rug, when in many cases redacting a sentence or two of these documents would make them suitable for public disclosure,” said Hadden. 
“Transparency is necessary to ensure public safety. The enforcement of compliance with these new rules cannot be done behind closed doors,” said Hadden. “Luminant and STP argued for keeping hearings and documents out of the public eye. We feel they’re concerned about exposing the serious gaps in their plans to deal with losses of large areas of the plant due to fires and explosions, including those due to an airplane impact. Without adequate planning for how to respond to these catastrophic events it makes no sense to invest billions of dollars.”


Karen Hadden,  Executive Director
Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition
1303 San Antonio, Suite 100    Austin, Texas 78701

cell 512-797-8481      
office 512-637-9481

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