Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Entergy Has Filed For Indian Point License Renewal, The Battle is Joined, GNB Mounts Its First Counter Offensive

Plans are afoot, a counter offensive is about to be unleashed as the Anti Nuclear Grassroots Green movement prepares for the battle that must be waged to stop Entergy's wrongful re-license of Indian Point. Individual stakeholders have rights in the process that we must all exercise. To that end, as publisher of GNB, today I've launched the first of my own counter attacks against a corrupt and bankrupt NRC regulatory process. I encourage our readership to take similar actions, here and in every reactor host community across America. The battle is joined, and we can only lose if we believe the lie that we cannot effect change.

Letter of Allegation Sent Today:

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of the Inspector General
Mail Stop T5-D28
11545 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852-2738

Dear Inspector General:

Please consider this letter as a formal allegation and/or verified complaint against employees of the NRC, as well as the Commissioners who voted on the currently used/in force DBT (Design Basis Threat). Said persons have in the past, and continue to place human health and safety at risk through their wantonly and egregiously negligent, perhaps criminal actions aimed at protecting licensees at the expense of the safety and well being of citizens living in reactor host communities, specifically the host community in and around Entergy's Indian Point facility, of which I am a member/stakeholder.

1. The 2005 Energy Policy Act among other things spells out MANDATORY STEPS that the NRC were/are required to take to ensure the public that nuclear reactor sites are safe, and that NRC's DBT is designed in a fashion to assure success against such a terrorist attack and/or nuclear incident. In his Senate sub-committee testimony, Marvin Fertel, vice-president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, acknowledged that the current DBT does not represent the full spectrum of terrorist threats. The key reason for this, is that the NRC and the commissioners themselves gave the NEI undue influence, allowed the NEI to draft a DBT to their liking, rather than drafting a DBT which would provide the public with any real level of adequate protections against a terrorist attack. In fact, Mr. Fertel in his testimony all but admits to their organization's undue influence in NRC's policy and rule making process when he states, "NEI is responsible for developing policy for the commercial nuclear industry." (emphasis added) A cursory examination of NRC's underlying documents would show time and again NEI's desires were heeded by NRC staff, too the point where the NRC even uses the NEI's exact wording in the creation of NRC policy and rules.

Throughout the entire creation of the DBT, the NRC staff and Commissioners gave the NEI and those it represents too much sway in the creation of the DBT, and without exception, public health and safety took a back seat to the nuclear industry's financial concerns, and corporate bottom lines. Specific areas where public safety has taken a back seat to shareholder interests include, but are not limited to the following:

A. The NEI is allowed to create the attack teams for force on force exercises, thus allowing their members advance notice of what they will be defending against. The DOE's offer of providing an attack team for these force on force exercises, similar to the ones employed to test defense readiness at DOE nuclear sites, was given no real due consideration by the NRC staff, primarily because NEI objected to it. This has created a situation wherein citizen/stakeholders living within close proximity to DOE facilities are afforded a far higher level of protection than those of us living within close proximity of commercial nuclear reactor sites.

B) When the NRC team of staffers created the first draft of the DBT, it included a host of commonly used terrorist weapons of choice. This list was compiled after careful discussion with law enforcement, and a full review of inter/intra agency intelligence. The NEI immediately objected to this list, claiming the costs of defending against such a list was cost prohibitive, and that two of the weapons on the list (even though standard terrorist issue weaponry) would render almost all current reactor site defensive structures obsolete. NRC staff gave into the NEI's wishes/demands and removed all but two of the weapons (Shoulder Launched Grenades [SLG] and a high power rifle using armor piercing bullets. When the commissioners voted on the DBT, after private back room discussions with the higher echelons of NEI, these two weapons were removed from the list. Fact...these two commonly used terrorist weapons render bullet resistant guard towers and shielded areas within the reactor and control room employing bullet resistant glass useless and in grave peril if attacked by a well trained, well armed and dedicated group of terrorists. Rather than protect human health and safety, rather than creating a DBT that would adequately prepare sites for a terrorist attack both NRC staff and commissioners sacrificed our safety on the altar of nuclear industry profits and convenience. The GAO's report to Congress tends to agree and support this allegation.

C. The NRC staff charged with creating the DBT settled upon a particular size explosives-laden vehicle. The NEI objected, claiming that protecting against a vehicle of such enormous size was overly expensive. The commission again gave the nuclear industry their way by GREATLY DECREASING THE SIZE/WEIGHT of the explosives laden vehicle. One commissioner seemed to justify this decision with the failed logic that a vehicle any larger would more than likely be spotted by and stopped by off site law enforcement before reaching the reactor site. It is noted here, that such thinking includes off-site security measures in protecting a reactor site, yet the NRC does not include testing of said off-site security they are relying on in the force on force exercises.

D) The NEI objected to both the size of the terrorist attack force, and the amount of weight (thus weaponry) each attack force member could carry. Again, everything the NEI wanted, they were given as both the size of the attack force, and the weight allotted for weaponry of each member was significantly reduced, thus GREATLY REDUCING the attack a nuclear reactor site would have to defend against in force on force exercises, which in turn, greatly reduced safety levels for members of the general public in the case of a terrorist attack on a nuclear reactor facility.

2. To avoid the transparency that would expose the DBT for what it is, to allow the continued rubber stamping of every license renewal application coming into the NRC headquarters, the agency and staff members involved in re-licensing (directly and/or indirectly) are ignoring federal law and statute where it suits them, specifically, but not limited to NEPA's requirement that the potential impact of terrorist attacks at nuclear facilities be considered in the license renewal application process. Knowing full well that many reactor communities do not have the financial means to litigate against the NRC and a well funded nuclear industry, the NRC has decided to ignore a recent Ninth Circuit Court decision on this very issue...in fact, Neil Sheehan was callously quoted as saying, "What happens in California stays in California..." when he was asked what effects that ruling would have on other license renewal applications. The NRC's relying on a community's financial inability to defend itself ADEQUATELY in the federal courts amounts to defacto Economic Racism on the part of the NRC and its staff, including the commissioners, and the Atomic Safety & Licensing Board, which has held that no such analysis is required.

These egregious actions on the part of the NRC, their collusion with the NEI and key nuclear industry players (Entergy, Exelon, NuStart, Duke Power, TVA) has threatened the lives, safety and security of every stakeholder citizen living within 50 miles of a reactor, with those of us living within ten miles of same at the most peril. Because of the imminent danger we are in due to the negligent and capricious acts spelled out above, as the filer of this allegation, I seek the following actions and protections:

1. A fast-tracked investigation of the allegations and charges contained herein with any criminal wrongdoing found being turned over to the United States Department of Justice for criminal prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

2. Evaluation of the issues as spelled out to determine if there exist any issues that have abridged my civil liberties, as defined in both the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

3. There be issued by the NRC Commissioners an order halting all license renewal activities until the issues contained herein have been resolved, as allowing them to move forward when a woefully inadequate DBT, which was created through criminal collusion, fails in providing the bare minimum security and safety protections afforded by NRC 10 CFR Rules and Regulations, and other federal statutes and laws, puts every nuclear reactor licensee in a position where they are defacto in violation of their licenses, and thusly subject to license revocation, and or other penalties.

When the NRC staff allow lobbying to cross the line into collusion, not only is the public trust eroded, but our health, safety and security is put at grave risk. When corporate profits supercede the NRC's duty and responsibility to protect human health and safety, the agency stands at the brink of a dark abyss, ready to sell its soul for the goal of a Nuclear Renaissance, and has sacrificed its own right to govern and regulate the industry.

Respectfully Submitted

Sherwood Martinelli

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