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The NRC’s secret plan for less secrecy

mt athosThat seems to be one possible take on this story from The (Lynchburg) News & Advance.

The Lynchburg area is home to a plant (right) that processes highly-enriched uranium, the stuff that’s used in Navy nuclear reactors.  It’s not always easy to find out about accidents that happen at the uranium plant on Mount Athos Road, such as this one a year ago.  Only recently has the Nuclear Regulatory Commission decided to crack open the door to news about licensing changes and enforcement actions.

On Wednesday, the NRC came to the Hill City to hear from the public about the agency’s proposed new openness.  The public yawned.  According to the News & Advance, only five people attended Wednesday’s meeting — four of them employees of two local nuclear facilities — and none commented on the NRC proposals to once again disclose basic details after security incidents occur.

The NRC staff plans to report its recommendations for new openness standards to the agency’s five commissioners by the end of this year, said Paul Harris of the NRC’s Atlanta office.

The public, however, won’t see those recommendations, Harris said, and any changes that are made will come slowly and only with approval of other agencies including the FBI, Homeland Security, Coast Guard, and Office of Naval Reactors.

By Peter Vieth

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