Public Citizen just sued Trump
February 8, 2017

Update sent by Public Citizen, directly relevant to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's mandate to protect public health, safety, and the environment against the risks of nuclear power and radioactive waste:

Moments ago, Public Citizen filed a lawsuit against President Trump.

Here’s what you need to know about the case, Public Citizen v. Donald J. Trump:

Our lawsuit takes direct aim at Trump’s plot to put corporate profits before people’s lives and the public good.

If you can, please chip in today to help us prevent Trump’s wild lawlessness, preserve lifesaving regulatory protections and stand up to these stunning abuses of power.

Donate now.

Thank you for anything you can contribute!


Robert Weissman
President, Public Citizen

Update on February 9, 2017 by Registered Commenteradmin

By the way, Robert Weissman's description above, "Especially insidious is an edict that regulations be evaluated only by inflating estimates of their cost to businesses while completely ignoring their substantially greater — and real — benefits to society," describes very well one of NRC's oldest tricks in the book to avoid protecting public health, safety, and the environment, as NRC dangerously colludes with the nuclear industry to protect its bottom line and profit margins.

Atomic reactors applying for licenses, including 20-year license extensions, are supposted to address Severe Accident Mitigation Alternatives (SAMAs). That is, the nuclear power industry is supposed to take a "hard look," required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), at cost-beneficial safety upgrades. For example, industry is supposed to take a NEPA "hard look" at safety-significant systems, structures, and components, the failure of which could lead to a radioactive catastrophe. Industry is supposed to ask the question, if spending X dollars here, prevents such an astronomically expensive catastrophe there, then doesn't it make sense to carry out that safety upgrade?

NRC is supposed to oversee industry's analysis, and do its own.

Astoundingly, industry and NRC very rarely, to never, find such cost-beneficial safety upgrades, and even more rarely actually implement even the ones they do identify.

How can this be, given the astronomical economic impacts of all too possible nuclear power catastrophes? Regarding the required SAMAs, industry, and NRC, as Robert Weissman wrote above, "[evaluate] only by inflating estimates of their cost...while completely ignoring their substantially greater — and real — benefits to society."

That is, the cost to implement the safety upgrade is considered paramount, while the costs of the catastrophe that could be averted by implementing the upgrade is largely to entirely ignored. In fact, the costs of a severe accident, under industry and NRC SAMA analyses, are often just the cost to the industy of the replacement of the broken system, structure or component. Completely ignored is the cost of the catastrophe that could unfold if and when that safety-significant system, structure, or component breaks!

Pilgrim Watch challenged such SAMA abuse at the Pilgrim atomic reactor in MA, when Entergy applied to NRC for a 20-year license extension. So too did environmental groups at Seabrook, NH when NextEra/Florida Power & Light applied for an extension. Those environmental groups in MA and NH were kind enough to bless Beyond Nuclear's modeling SAMA contentions after their own, and applying them in the effort to block Davis-Besse's 20-year license extension in Ohio. But in every case, the SAMA challenges were ultimately nixed by NRC, despite their merits.

Similarly, NRDC filed a SAMA challenge against Limerick's license extensions in PA. NRC ruled against them. This was most remarkable, in that NRDC's legal victory decades ago, established the SAMA requirement under law in the first place!

Article originally appeared on Beyond Nuclear (
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