Thursday, May 10, 2007

NRC Cover Up Of Potential Criticality Accident-Can They Even Be Trusted?

In a barely noticed report hidden deep within the bowels of the Federal Registry was a report to Dick Cheney (worm butt) about a Criticality Incident that details the HEU spillage, which took place at Nuclear Fuel Services' (NFS's) fuel fabrication facility in Erwin, Tennessee, on 6 March 2006. Not once but twice during the CAREFULLY HIDDEN (as in coverup) incident, materials gather in a fashion that we could have had a critacality in, a NUCLEAR EXPLOSION! HEU is not your ordinary run of the mill uranium, but instead, uranium enriched to the point that between 20-90% of the material is U-235, the isotope usually split to release energy. Military reactors for naval power and propulsion are fuelled by HEU fuel, which is made at certain designated facilities under NRC oversight.

The timing for this cover up is suspicious, and when coupled with the NRC's blind rubber stamping of license renewal and the push for a Nuclear Renaissance, obviosly vile, deliberate and brazen. So the question becomes, can the NRC be trusted? Has the time come to disband the NRC, giving oversight of NRC's licensees to the US EPA? Has the time come for the United States Department of Justice to bring a RICO suit against NRC, NEI and the nuclear industry?

Military event revealed after over a year
09 May 2007
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) annual report on 'abnormal events' has revealed a serious spill of high-enriched uranium (HEU) solution at a facility used to make nuclear fuel for naval reactors. No workers were hurt.

A recently published NRC report to Vice President Dick Cheney, published in the US Federal Register, details the events from FY2006 which commissioners consider to be significant from the standpoint of public health and safety. One passage details the HEU spillage, which took place at Nuclear Fuel Services' (NFS's) fuel fabrication facility in Erwin, Tennessee, on 6 March 2006.

NRC reveals nuclear spill
Commission tells Congress
of 2006 incident in Tennessee

By Duncan Mansfield
Associated Press Writer

KNOXVILLE — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission revealed in a new report to Congress that a nuclear chain-reaction accident nearly occurred 14 months ago at a nuclear fuels processing plant in Tennessee.

About 35 liters, or just over 9 gallons, of highly enriched uranium solution spilled March 6, 2006, at the Nuclear Fuel Services Inc. facility in Erwin, about 15 miles south of Johnson City, the NRC said in a report published Friday in the Federal Register.

The solution leaked into a protected glovebox, then flowed onto the floor and into an old elevator pit at the plant, which has been making nuclear fuel for Navy submarines and commercial reactors since 1957.

"Criticality," or a sustained nuclear chain reaction that releases radiation, was possible as the uranium pooled in both the box and the elevator pit, the NRC said.

"If a criticality accident had occurred in the filtered glovebox or the elevator pit, it is likely that at least one worker would have received an exposure high enough to cause acute health effects or death," the NRC report said.

"Nobody got hurt. There was no danger to the general public," NRC spokesman David McIntyre said Tuesday. "(But) they were lucky and we don't like them to be lucky, we like them to be careful."

The incident might never have been disclosed publicly if not for laws requiring the NRC to annually report "abnormal occurrences" of its license-holders to Congress.

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