Beyond Nuclear, Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, in New York (IPSEC), and Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) this week. The groups are demanding NRC turn over documents they used as the basis for proposed rule changes on radiation exposure. A change in radiation exposure rules will affect the public, particularly vulnerable children who should be the standard by which every human is protected. Additionally, the groups are asking for a six month extension on the rule comment period which currently ends on November 24, 2014.
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Preparation of this NRC proposed radiation rule change was a multi-year project for NRC Staff, and the current comment period of 120 days does not allow adequate time for stakeholders in impacted reactor communities to review the long and technical documents NRC references.
Also, while reviewing the NRC's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”), we discovered that many of the NRC’s references, which the NRC staff used as the basis of the proposed rule, are publicly inaccessible. Additionally, some references depend on other references which are non credited by in the Federal Registry notice. In order to fully understand the basis for NRC’s reasoning, public review of all foundational documents, referenced and unreferenced, is necessary.
Industry has the means and resources to obtain these documents and NRC recognized in its ANPR that it was using documents that were not readily available to the public either through public libraries or online. NRC's behavior in this case has yet again shown its disdain for meaningful public comment.
Victory! The NRC extended the comment period until March 24, 2015. No word yet on the FOIA request.