Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Are Nuclear Mishaps Being Hidden? Congress Calls the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Task for Keeping Documents Out of Public View

Posted by K.E. White on July 6, 2007

Is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) keeping information away from the public? Seems that way. How? Bureaucratic innovation: Instead of labeling documents ‘Top Secret,’ a more innocuous ‘For Official Use Only’ label was enlisted. The net effect of the move? The public was shut out.

The NY Times reports on NRC secrecy:

A factory that makes uranium fuel for nuclear reactors had a spill so bad it kept the plant closed for seven months last year and became one of only three events in all of 2006 serious enough for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to include in an annual report to Congress.

After an investigation, the commission changed the terms of the factory’s license and said the public had 20 days to request a hearing on the changes.

But no member of the public ever did. In fact, no member of the public could find out about the changes. The document describing them, including the notice of hearing rights for anyone who felt adversely affected, was stamped “official use only,” meaning that it was not publicly accessible.

But don’t be quick to jump on the anti-nuclear bandwagon. This Atlanta Journal-Constitution article highlights flaws with a report authored by opponents of Georgia Power.

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