15 November 2002
Source: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/fr-cont.html

[Federal Register: November 15, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 221)]
[Page 69255]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 69255]]



All Nuclear Power Reactor Licensees; Notice of Issuance of 
Director's Decision Under 10 CFR 2.206

    Notice is hereby given that the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, has taken action on the October 24, 2001, Petition under 
Sec.  2.206 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 
2.206) submitted by Mr. Michael D. Kohn (petitioner) on behalf of the 
National Whistleblower Center. By letter dated January 27, 2002, Mr. 
Michael D. Kohn submitted an amended Petition. The amended Petition 
included the names of six additional Petitioners who requested to be 
added to the Petition. The petitioner requested that the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC) take corrective action to protect the 
public against the possibility of terrorists seizing control of a large 
commercial airliner and crashing it into a nuclear power plant in the 
United States. In addition, the petitioner requested that the NRC take 
compensatory measures, as set forth in the Petition, to protect the 
public and environment from the catastrophic impacts of any type of 
terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant or a spent fuel pool (SFP). 
The petitioner also requested that the NRC ensure that these 
compensatory measures are immediately implemented, and that the NRC 
issue permanent rules, as discussed in the Petition. As a basis for the 
request described above, the Petitioner stated that:

--No commercial nuclear power plant located in the United States can 
withstand the impact of a large commercial airliner.
--The NRC intentionally misled the public about its failure to 
adequately consider risks associated with an air assault on a nuclear 
--The NRC knew or should have known that the current design and 
security measures at the spent fuel pools [SFPs] located at each 
nuclear power plant are incapable of protecting the population from the 
catastrophic release of radiation from a potential terrorist attack and 
immediate and long-term compensatory measures are needed to protect the 
United States and its citizens.
--The NRC [sic] radioactive material contained in the spent fuel pools 
are [sic] extremely vulnerable to terrorist attack within six months of 
a refueling outage. Immediate and long-term compensatory measures are 
needed to protect the United States and its citizens from an attack on 
a spent fuel pool within this six month window.
--The NRC must work directly with other security offices in approving 
compensatory security measures and in approving utility security plans 
and must re-evaluate its 1979 EIS [Environmental Impact Statement] and 
1998 Final Rule regarding SFPs.
--The current background screening requirements which permit 
``temporary'' clearances at nuclear plants do not adequately protect 
the public.
--The current background screening requirements for long-term 
clearances at nuclear plants do not adequately protect the public.
--The NRC ended the public's ability to effectively challenge the NRC's 
decision not to require nuclear power plants to be able to withstand 
airborne assaults by changing its rules allowing nuclear plants to 
obtain new 40 year licenses without permitting citizens to challenge 
``generic'' concerns, including risks from terrorist attack.

    The NRC sent a copy of the proposed Director's Decision to the 
petitioner by letter dated May 16, 2002. The petitioner responded with 
comments by letter dated August 10, 2002. The comments and the staff 
response to them are enclosures to the Director's Decision.
    The staff has partially granted the Petitioner's request to the 
extent that the NRC has addressed the Petitioner's concerns by issuing 
Orders on February 25, 2002, to all operating commercial nuclear power 
plant licensees to implement interim compensatory security measures for 
the generalized high-level threat environment. The reasons for this 
determination are explained in the Director's Decision pursuant to 10 
CFR 2.206 (DD-02-04), the complete text of which is available in ADAMS 
for inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room, located at One 
White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland, and from the ADAMS Public Library component on the NRC's Web 
site, http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm.html (the Public Electronic Reading 
Room) at Accession No. ML022470090. If you do not have access to ADAMS 
or have problems in accessing the documents in ADAMS, contact the NRC 
Public Document Room reference staff at 1-800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737 
or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.
    A copy of the Director's Decision will be filed with the Secretary 
of the Commission so that the Commission may review it in accordance 
with 10 CFR 2.206(c) of the Commission's regulations. As provided for 
by this regulation, the Director's Decision will constitute the final 
action of the Commission 25 days after the date of the decision unless 
the Commission, on its own motion, institutes a review of the decision 
within that time.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 1st day of November 2002.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Jon R. Johnson,
Deputy Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 02-29059 Filed 11-14-02; 8:45 am]