CLOSE THE SALEM NUKES NOW
The UNPLUG SALEM Campaign
321 Barr Ave., Linwood NJ 08221
Dear Congressman Lobiondo,
Thank you for meeting with Dave Lochbaum and Dr. Kymn Harvin today on the issue of the safety of PSEG?s three nuclear plants.
After hearing their briefing, we urge you to request that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission immediately shut down Salem Units 1 and 2 and Hope Creek, until all of the safety issues and problems are resolved, and thus a sufficient margin of safety is restored for the people of South Jersey.
There have been many criticisms that numerous warning signs were ignored prior to 09/11. We don't need to repeat those mistakes. If the NRC insists on keeping the three plants open, and to allow PSEG to attempt to fix their problems while the reactors operate, the public deserves assurance that the problems are getting fixed.
To date, all we have are the company's promises to do better. For example, recently the NRC ordered PSEG to upgrade security by a specific date, and PSEG would have faced consequences if they missed that deadline. Thus, we urge you to request that the NRC should order PSEG to fix their safety issues within the next 90 days, or face immediate shutdown.
If PSEG fails to meet that deadline, the public is protected from empty promises - the reactors would shut down until PSEG could meet the deadline.
At a meeting with your aide on 7/12/04, I gave your aide the following information on safety concerns at all three of PSEG?s nuclear power plants:
(1) Dave Lochbaum?s (Nuclear Safety Engineer for the Union of Concerned Scientists) letter of June 9th to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, asking that all three facilities be shut down until PSEG fixes its poor safety culture/safety conscious work environment (SCWE).
(2) Dr Kymn Harvin?s statement to the NRC at the June 16th NRC-PSEG public meeting, also asking for a shutdown to bring all three of PSEG?s nuclear plants into safety compliance.
(3) Dave Lochbaum?s letter to the NRC on June 25th, which shows that PSEG?s plan to improve safety culture at their nuclear plants is a re-run of their 1995 plan, and that in 1995, the NRC kept Salem Units One and Two CLOSED until PSEG fixed the same problems that now plague them; and
(4) A copy of Dr Harvin?s lawsuit against PSEG and her original letter to the NRC which precipitated the current NRC actions against PSEG.
On 7/12/04 we made the following requests:
We at the UNPLUG Salem Campaign agree with Mr. Lochbaum and Dr Harvin that it will be unlikely that PSEG will be unable to fix its Safety Conscious Work Environment while their plants continue to run. NRC refused to re-start Davis Besse and Millstone until they fixed their SCWE. We feel that allowing PSEG to run their three nuclear plants in a degraded condition threatens the safety of South Jersey residents. We asked you and your office to take these actions:
(1) Assign a Mays Landing staff person to be the ?point person? on this issue. Instruct this person to attend all relevant NRC public meetings. Only Senator Lautenberg has sent an aide to the first two NRC meetings.
(2) One of PSEG?s proposals is to NOT hold another public meeting until the second quarter of 2005. This is too long a time period. Please write to the NRC and request quarterly public meetings until PSEG resolves their SCWE and other safety problems.
(3) This letter should also include the request that if PSEG does not show substantial improvement in the next 90 days, that NRC should indeed require that the three nuclear plants be shut.
(4) Your office should request a General Accounting Office investigation of the NRC?s response to poor SCWE at Salem/Hope Creek, including how NRC inspectors allowed the situation to deteriorate to the point where Dr Harvin had to become a whistleblower to get NRC action. Both Mr. Lochbaum and myself have additional information on these issues, including copies of the internal assessments done by PSEG that show that their SCWE is in the bottom quarter of all nuclear plants. These are large documents, and we would be glad to email them to you. Please understand, we are not asking for a shutdown and decommissioning, we are asking for a shutdown to make the three units safer to run.
Sincerely, Norm Cohen Coordinator,
UNPLUG Salem Campaign