NRC RESPONSE TO UNPLUG SALEM IS MIXED; 

GROUP TO APPEAL NRC DECISION 

In a letter dated May 16th, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a "Proposed Director's Decision" on the UNPLUG Salem Campaign's 2.206 petition on safety and security at New Jersey's four nuclear power plants.

 A 2.206 petition is the only way an individual citizen or a watchdog organization can affect NRC policy and rules.

 The NRC granted the following requests by the UNPLUG Salem Campaign:

             that Oyster Creek must be able to withstand the effects of an explosive device transported by a vehicle;

             that Salem and Oyster Creek must be able to protect their respective water intake systems from a terrorist or commando attack;

             that action be taken to protect nuclear power plants from large-scale or multiple fires,

             that Potassium Iodide, or KI, be made available in the 10 mile zone around nuclear plants.

 The NRC "partially granted" the following requests:

             that action be taken to protect nuclear power plants from the loss of AC power resulting from postulated acts of sabotage,

             that nuclear plant security in general be improved,

             that nuclear terrorism be included in Evacuation Planning Drills.

 The NRC refused to direct the State of New Jersey to allow stakeholder groups to observe and take part in, Evacuation Planning Drills.

 In addition, the NRC denied requests to halt and reverse all permits associated with the Oyster Creek dry cask storage, 

and most importantly, the NRC refused to order the immediate closure of the four nuclear power plants in New Jersey or to immediately order plant defenses to be upgraded to withstand a jet crash;

 and refused to order that the spent fuel pools at Hope Creek and Oyster Creek be placed within a containment structure.

 Norm Cohen, Coordinator of Close The Salem Nukes Now - The UNPLUG Salem Campaign, commented that, "While we are pleased that NRC agreed to at least some requests in our 2.206 petition, we are disappointed that the safety of citizens of South Jersey remains at risk, because NRC refuses to require that the spent fuel pools be adequately protected, and that the four New Jersey nukes be upgraded to withstand a 767 type jet crash. 

We are also concerned with the wording of some of the areas NRC granted. It is not clear to us that NRC's agreement will actually lead to the security improvements we requested." 

Cohen continued, "We will be filing comments with the NRC to appeal those areas denied and to clarify those areas where we are not clear what NRC's acceptance of our requests really mean."