Subject: NRC Credibility on the Line
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 15:04:17 EST
Mr. Sam Collins, Mr. Randall Blough, Mr. Eugene Cobey, Mr. Cornelius Holden: Sam, Randy, Gene, Cornelius,
This is a letter I wish I did not feel compelled to write.
In the days since the December 4, 2004, public meeting with PSEG, I have spoken with Congressional aides, government leaders, reporters, watchdogs, area residents, and people from Salem/Hope Creek.
I've not heard of anyone who was satisfied with the public meeting, the NRC's scrutiny of PSEG's presentation and statements, and the discussion of the safety and equipment issues at Hope Creek.
Much is at stake in the coming weeks as you now contemplate what actions to take, specifically related to the restart of the Hope Creek nuclear reactor.
I want to make this clear in my "straight talk" fashion:
The NRC's credibility is publicly and fully on the line. I am saying to you, gentlemen, what I said publicly to PSEG Nuclear's Chief Nuclear Officer Chris Bakken:
Changing out the B recirculation pump at Hope Creek is a "no brainer." There have been so many issues with that pump for so long that to postpone repairs for another cycle is ludicrous.
Much like metrics, engineering reports can be written to support any position. Don't fall prey to the company's agenda. PSEG blew its chance to take a giant step forward in "walking the talk" of safety over production, regaining trust of employees, the public, the industry, Wall Street and other stakeholders. Instead a critical equipment repair was postponed....again.
The company's credibility--and its admittedly weak safety culture--has suffered as a result.
The already beleaguered site now has an even steeper climb as a result of actions by PSEG's highest corporate officers.
The dedicated employees of Salem and Hope Creek deserve better...as do we all.
Now, we turn to the NRC...to you, gentlemen...for action that will demand Safety First and require the repair of this equipment and the collateral damage it has caused before Hope Creek restarts.
You have the opportunity to cause a giant step forward in how the NRC is viewed...or a giant step backwards.
The choice is yours.
When as a PSEG "whistleblower" I first met Hub Miller in September 2003, I spoke of my desire to see the NRC regain the public's trust, not suffer another "black eye" like Millstone and Davis-Besse.
I urge you to make this reality. Demonstrate beyond any one's doubt that you are, indeed, the public's guardian. Compel PSEG to replace Hope Creek's "B" recirculation pump. And confirm all safety systems are indeed working properly.
Settle for nothing less than Safety First.
Sincerely, Nancy Kymn Harvin, Ph.D.
Recipient of the IEEE's Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest
cc: Congressional delegation--NJ, DE NRC Commissioners and Chairman NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection NJ Board of Public Utilities Governor's Office, NJ and DE Bernard Kerik, Department of Homeland Security Dr. Shirley Jackson Interested stakeholders