Thursday, May 3, 2007

Is NRC Agenda and Schedule More Important Than Fairness and Justice?

The Indian Point License Renewal Application was made available online yesterday. With all of it's various and assorted under laying documents, it is almost 3,000 pages in length, with hundreds if not thousands of sites and references, all of which have to be located and read if the document they support is to be fully and completely understood. I want to know that document, am unwilling to take some bureaucrats quickly constructed explanation of it delivered at a public meeting as gospel. The NRC, its licensees may want us to trust them, but them have not earned trust, but rather our distain.

I was up until after three in the AM reading that document, and trust me, it is slow going, and that fact is why I filed a request with the NRC yesterday for an extension of time to adequately understand and know the document. As luck would have it, Neil Sheehan, the NRC's angel of darkness if ever one existed, who had called on another matter, quickly doused any hope the request would go anywhere...he made it abundantly clear that we would get the exact same identical process that every other reactor license renewal application community had so far recieved, made it clear that the NRC was on a tight schedule.

I resisted the urge to quip back, " You mean rubber stamping?", which is what the process is in its current format.

As stakeholders, we are supposed to have a fair and equitable place at the table in this process. Where is that equity when we are expected to comment on a document we do not, and cannot understand without adequate time to digest same and the contents therein? The NRC may not like it, but their regulatory process is set up not to protect citizens of a host community, but to abuse us. The licenses for reactors 2 and 3 expire in 2012 and 2015, so where is the urgency to stick to a 22-30 month schedule, if giving a community more time, allowed us the opportunity to actually understand the documents in question. We are being asked to accept the continued operation of Indian Point for 20 more years...with what is at stake, don't we deserve the time necessary to gain the knowledge needed to make heads or tails out of Entergy's application? A rhetorical question.

I know these kinds of documents, know that dissecting them piece by piece, paragraph by paragraph, and sentence by sentence is the only way to locate the truth we need to justify rejection of the application. The NRC knows this, and does not want us finding the wedge needed to split open the log, thus exposing the ugly truth hidden in the black heart of Entergy's deliberately immense documents. If you are a citizen stakeholder wanting adequate time to digest Entergy's application, I encourage you to write the chairman's office at NRC to request the same 18 month extension of time I have requested before they schedule their first public meeting. The email address is . You might also want to CC Neil Sheehan at .

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