"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."


Friday, April 15, 2016

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Open house and Public Comment Session onTennessee Valley Authority's Early Site Permit Application for Small Modular Reactors at the Clinch River Site, Oak Ridge, Tennessee - April 12, 2016 (Updated Apr. 16, 2016)

Small Modular Reactor Designs - Fair Use for non-profit news reporting, graphic from http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Small-Modular-Reactor-Startup-Using-Molten-Salt-Nuclear-Design-Wins-7M-in

"TVA wants to build the small modular reactor (SMR) in an area on the Clinch River near the southwest edge of Oak Ridge.  This is the same site where TVA proposed to build the breeder reactor in the 1980s that was scrapped due to budget cuts and safety concerns." News article with video: http://www.wbir.com/news/local/tva-applying-for-permit-to-build-smaller-nuclear-reactor-in-oak-ridge/112723402

Union of Concerned Scientists - SMR's will not resolve cost, safety and security problems
WASHINGTON (September 26, 2013)—Nuclear power proponents pinning their hopes on small modular nuclear reactors to resurrect the industry’s fortunes will likely be disappointed, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The report, Small Isn’t Always Beautiful, concludes it will be extremely difficult for small reactors—which are less than a third the size of a standard 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactor—to generate less expensive electricity and, at the same time, be safer than their larger cousins.

“Nuclear safety and security don’t come cheap,” said UCS Senior Scientist Edwin Lyman, the author of the report. “A utility that thinks it can have its own little nuclear reactor at a bargain-basement price may get exactly what it pays for: a plant more vulnerable to serious accidents and terrorist attacks.” http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/small-modular-nuclear-reactor-0404.html#.VxFoPZX2bIV

On April 12 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. members of the Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team/Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation (BEST/MATRR), a local chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) attended the open house and information session. We conducted interviews with TVA Clinch River Project Manager, Dan Stout, and the Attorney with the Tennessee Sierra Club, Brian Paddock. The information session was held at the Pollard Center on the campus of Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge Tennessee.

SafeCast Ionizing Radiation Monitoring at Oak Ridge and Environs - 
High Count per Minute was 46cpm, low was 18cpm. The B-geigy Monitor was mounted on the right side of the vehicle 1 meter from ground level. Counts Per Minute (cpm) were within normal background radiation parameters for the area.


Introductory Video

Interview with Dan Stout, TVA Project Manager, Clinch River SMR Site

Interview with Brian Paddock, Esq., Attorney with the Tennessee Sierra Club

NRC Explanation of Early Site Permit Process, selected segments.

Citizen Comments, Questions and Concerns, selected segments.

NRC VIDEO on SMR's - Nov 13, 2014

TVA Slide Show on SMR's http://www.slideshare.net/orau/stout-tva-day-1-panel-1

DOE on SMR's http://www.energy.gov/ne/nuclear-reactor-technologies/small-modular-nuclear-reactors

Small Modular Reactors Not Likely Before 2020  http://oakridgetoday.com/2016/04/13/small-nuclear-reactors-not-likely-before-mid-2020s/

NRC - Tennessee Valley Authority Clinch River Site Early Site Permit Application 
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) intends to submit an Early Site Permit Application (ESPA) for two or more small modular reactor (SMR) modules (up to 800 MWe, 2420 MWt) at the Clinch River Nuclear (CRN) site to the NRC for review in the second quarter of NRC fiscal year (FY) 2016 (first quarter of calendar year (CY) 2016). The application will use the Plant Parameter Envelope (PPE) approach, by which an applicant provides sufficient bounding parameters and characteristics of the reactor or reactors, and the associated facilities, so that assessments of site safety and environmental suitability can be made by NRC.

For additional information, please use the Advanced Web Search feature of our Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS), and enter PROJ0785 in the "Docket Number" field.
For additional detail, see the following topics on this page:

                                BREDL FACT SHEET ON SMR's
                        Click on image for an expanded view.)

Complaint to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission OIG for violation of the Federal Sunshine in Government Act. 
The NRC held a separate meeting for public officials at 9AM on April 12, 2016. This separate meeting makes no sense, since the only information to be presented is allegedly public information. The separate meeting effectively isolates public officials from the public. The NRC General counsel has confirmed receipt of this complaint.

NRC OIG Complaint – 4-8-16 
Subject: Separate Meeting for public officials Regarding SMR Project.
From: Garry Morgan, Scottsboro, Alabama

Violation of Government in the Sunshine Act Pub.L. 94–409, 90 Stat. 1241, 5 U.S.C. § 552b - Regarding holding a separate meeting, secret meeting, with local public officials, outside of a public meetings scheduled on April 12, 2016 - Reference NRC Public Affairs Notice 16-016, regarding Small Modular Reactors at the Clinch River Site near Oak Ridge, Tn. There is no mention of the separate secret meeting in the official notice with public officials which is scheduled on 4-12-16 at 9AM, location Hilton Hotel or Pollard Auditorium, per "un-named" (names redacted, confirmed from 2 separate officials) NRC Officials.

Although this is not a deliberation of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission it is a Public Meeting as scheduled and there will be many different public officials from various public entities attending this secret meeting for public officials which is allegedly to discuss the same information to be presented at the afternoon and evening public meetings in the described NRC meeting announcement. 

Why a secret meeting prior to the regularly scheduled meeting? Could it be there are site problems or other problems which the DOE, NRC, TVA does not want the public to know about? Are there secret site plans which federal and local officials will consider which the various federal agencies involved do not want the public atlarge to be aware? Surely all involved want to hear public comments - why would a federal agency move to isolate public officials from the public? Is there a need for secrecy involving what should be public information? 

The legislative intent of the Sunshine Act is as follows: "The basic premise of the sunshine legislation is that, in the words of federalist No. 49, 'the people are the only legitimate foundation of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter ... is derived.' Government is and should be the servant of the people, and it should be fully accountable to them for the actions which it supposedly takes on their behalf." (U.S.C.C.A.N. 2183, 2186).

The NRC's intentional isolation of various government officials from the public in a separate meeting violates the very spirit and intent of the United States of America's Federal Sunshine in Government Act. Many items discussed in these public meetings will be deliberated on at a later date in various governmental entities. 

It is vitally important that all government officials hear all public input, not just the input from federal officials and contractors connected with the Small Modular Reactor Projects. Holding a separate public officials meeting isolates public officials from the electorate, taxpayers and ratepayers, the stakeholders which the NRC are supposed to protect. 

Isolation of public officials from the public in a separate secret meeting for public officials does not facilitate open government as described in the Federal Sunshine Act and does not display
your role as the regulator in a positive light, the isolation of public officials by holding a separate meeting for public officials violates the intent of the Federal Sunshine Act.

I am asking the NRC OIG to initiate action to stop any separate meeting which isolates public officials from the public in NRC Public Meetings.

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