Daily Archives: September 17, 2012

Flooding Nuclear Power Plants Close to Dams

Below we reproduce verbatim the letter of Richard Perkins to the Office of Inspector General US Nuclear Regulatory Commission dated Sept. 14, 2012

From: Richard H. Perkins, P.E., Division of Risk Analysis, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

To: Hubert T. Bell, Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, MS 05-E13, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville MD 20852

Dear Mr. Bell,

Subject: Concealment of Significant Nuclear Safety Information by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

I allege that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has intentionally mischaracterized relevant and noteworthy safety information as sensitive, security information in an effort to conceal the information from the public. This action occurred in anticipation of, in preparation for, and as part of the NRC’s response to a Freedom of Information Act request for information concerning the generic issue  investigation on Flooding of U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Following Upstream Dam Failure. (pdf of censored report)  Specifically requested was the completed screening analysis report for this issue, of which I am the lead author.  Portions of the publically released version of this report are redacted citing security sensitivities, however,the redacted information is of a general descriptive nature or is strictly relevant to the safety of U.S. nuclear  power plants, plant personnel, and members of the public. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has engaged in an effort to mischaracterize the information as security sensitive in order to justify withholding it from public release using certain exemptions specified in the Freedom of Information Act. Evidencesupporting this allegation includes the redacted text from the analysis report, e-mails and written correspondence within the NRC, and e-mail correspondence with other Government agencies. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff may be motivated to prevent the disclosure of this safety information to the public because it will embarrass the agency. The redacted information includes discussion of, and excerpts from, NRCofficial agency records that show the NRC has been in possession of relevant, notable, and derogatory safety information for an extended period but failed to properly act on it. Concurrently, the NRC concealed the information from the public.

Because this concern involves a violation of law and is not related to a technical opinion or distinction, I am not submitting this concern to (or though) the NRC’s Differing Professional Opinion Program. It is my intention to cooperate fully with NRC Office of the Inspector General. It is also my intention to make a copy of this letter available to the public shortly after I have submitted it to your office; therefore, please consider this allegation to be public information.