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Petition to NRC on Sabotage Prevention

April 28, 2003

Ms. Annette Vietti-Cook, Secretary
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff

Dear Ms. Vietti-Cook:

On behalf of the San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MFP) and the Union of Concerned Scientists, and pursuant to 10 CFR 2.802, I submit the enclosed petition to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to amend 10 CFR 50.59, Changes, tests, and experiments; 10 CFR 50.54, Conditions of Licenses; and 10 CFR Part 50, Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities. The purpose of this petition is to provide better protection against radiological sabotage at U.S. nuclear power plants.

Prior to 09/11, the NRC staff was pursuing revisions to its regulations and associated implementing procedures intended to manage the risk from radiological sabotage. Obviously, those undertakings grew in both scope and urgency following 09/11. But whereas UCS was an active participant in the NRC's public discussions on proposed changes to its regulations and procedures before 09/11, the NRC has steadfastly denied UCS access to such policy discussions since 09/11. In fact, the NRC has formally declined to even listen to our concerns and recommendations.

Left with no other recourse, the petitioners submit this petition for rulemaking as a vehicle for injecting what we believe are practical solutions to radiological sabotage problems into the NRC's deliberative process. We request that we be permitted to attend any and all meetings the NRC and NRC staff have with non-governmental, external stakeholders (i.e., nuclear industry representatives) dealing with this petition and the matters addressed by this petition.

Pursuant to 10 C.F.R. § 2.802(d), petitioner MFP requests that the Commission suspend the licensing proceeding for an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, while it is considering this petition. Suspension of the proceeding is warranted, because consideration of the petition has the potential to bring about a significant redefinition of the fundamental design requirements that are considered adequate to protect independent spent fuel facilities (ISFSIs) against radiological sabotage. In addition, the petition seeks to upgrade the safety evaluation process in 10 CFR 50.59, which would likely be used by the Diablo Canyon licensee in developing and revising procedures for dry cask loading and movement. In order to ensure that the proposed Diablo Canyon ISFSI is adequately designed to accommodate these changes, conclusion of the licensing proceeding should await the outcome of the rulemaking proceeding.

Sincerely,

David Lochbaum
Nuclear Safety Engineer
Washington Office

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