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There are several life and death comment opportunities given by the US EPA and the US NRC in the next weeks (EPA), and months (NRC) regarding how much the nuclear industry can legally poison people and the environment with radiation (radionuclides). There’s still a chance to have your say.
For many it will be news that nuclear facilities are expected and legally allowed to leak on both a routine and a “batch” release, as part of normal operations!
Decisions will be made regarding how many expected cancers or cancer deaths are acceptable. How many are to be sacrificed at the altar of the nuclear industry. The US EPA even has the audacity to ask people should they count all cancers – fatal and non-fatal (i.e. cancer morbidity) or only death (cancer mortality). The EPA doesn’t even mention the idea of counting non-cancer diseases, which may be induced by leakage of radionuclides into the environment. The EPA comment period deadline is August 4th for this. It is apparently only the first round of battle in a very long war – but the rules of the game will be set, it seems. The EPA also asks if standards should be expressed as risk (i.e. morbidity or mortality rates) or as a radiation emission standard. Shouldn’t it be expressed in every way possible, so that risk can be better evaluated?
Probably most important of all will be the NRC rules regarding “Low Level Nuclear Waste“. The deadline for that is September 15, 2014. This will probably determine if they are allowed to just dump nuclear waste in public landfills, as they do in Tennessee and the UK, or not. Apparently some of what is called “low level” in the USA, may be considered intermediate level in Europe.
One environmental group has asked that public hearings be held in communities with nuclear facilities, but the EPA and NRC need to hold public hearings in communities everywhere on these topics. These regulations will impact everyone, either directly or indirectly. And, they will impact everyone for generations, because of the risk of genetic mutations and because of the long-lived nature of some of these radionuclides.
The NRC will also soon open a comment period for how much nuclear facilities are allowed to leak. They have already taken pre-pre comments at a Nuclear Energy Institute sponsored workshop, where the EPA and NRC even did presentations. The “public meeting” for pre-pre-comments was conveniently located in the same hotel and the day after the Nuclear Energy Institute sponsored workshop.
DID THE NRC OR EPA COME INTO YOUR COMMUNITY AND ASK WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH THEY SHOULD ALLOW NUCLEAR FACILITIES TO LEAK? THEY MADE A SPECIAL TRIP OF AROUND 585 MILES, 8 1/2 HRS FROM THE DC AREA TO SAVANNAH GEORGIA TO TAKE THE FEEDBACK OF THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY! Who paid? Was it the US Taxpayer? If not, the Nuclear Energy Institute? Either way, that’s not good.
THE NUCLEAR ENERGY INSTITUTE THEN PRESENTED AT THE NRC “PUBLIC MEETING” ALONG WITH NRC OFFICIALS!
Whatever are they up to? Considering that the presentations at the “Public Meeting” only involved people from the Office of New Reactors and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), one can guess that they want to ensure that any new nuclear reactors are built to a worse standard than the older ones – to a more leaky standard. That’s they only logical conclusion that we can think of. It’s very scary that there is an “Office of New Reactors” with multiple people working there.
On July 10, 2014, Tanya Hood, PM, for the Office of New Reactors blogs:
“The NRC just held a meeting soliciting feedback on the development of a draft regulatory basis for updating 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix I in Savannah, Ga., on June 27, 2014. The attendees, either in person, on the phone or watching our webinar, gave us some great comments to consider
We’ll continue the discussion later this summer by issuing an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in the Federal Register. The notice will list future meetings and describe the regulatory process in more detail.” See: “The NRC Considers Amending Radioactive Release Regulations Posted by Moderator on July 10, 2014 Tanya E. Hood, Project Manager, Office of New Reactors:” http://public-blog. nrc-gateway.gov/2014/07/10/the-nrc-considers-amending-radioactive-release-regulations/ (Emphasis added)
EPA Proposed Ruling Deadline:
“This Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) requests public comment and information on potential approaches to updating the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations” (40 CFR part 190). These standards, originally issued in 1977, limit radiation releases and doses to the public from normal operation of nuclear power plants and other uranium fuel cycle facilities—that is, facilities involved in the milling, conversion, fabrication, use and reprocessing of uranium fuel for generating commercial electrical power. These standards were the earliest radiation rules developed by EPA and are based on nuclear power technology and the understanding of radiation biology current at that time. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for implementing and enforcing these standards” http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0689-0001 Due Aug 3 2014, at 11:59 PM ET
THE US EPA Standard was based on the National Academy of Sciences, BEIR standard of no safe dose of low LET ionizing radiation. Increasing dose is increasing risk. According to BEIR, high LET radiation, such as alpha emitters (e.g. plutonium, americium), is even more dangerous. The BEIR position of no safe dose has not changed. Even in 1977, the BEIR standard was considered more protective than the NCRP – the US branch of the ICRP, which they propose following now. Currently the ICRP and EPA standards appear similar. The ICRP allows for a 0.3 mSv per year exposure rate per person for each facility, and reduces it to 0.1 mSv when long-lived radionuclides are involved. They suppose multiple exposures for a total of 1 mSv. The US EPA allows for facility exposure-emissions that result in 0.25 mSv per year for the body. These exposure rates are for members of the public who are not at the nuclear facility. Exposure allowed is much higher for nuclear workers. ICRP and EPA and NRC all play weird games with organ exposures – probably meant for the benefit of medical radiologists. Strangely, the US EPA allows 0.75 mSv for the thyroid which is considered very much at risk by the nuclear industry.
“Low level waste Regulations:
“On May 15, 2014, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published a request for public comment on developments concerning the Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) Regulatory Program. These developments over the next several years would affect licensees and States with LLRW disposal sites and actions that the NRC could take to ensure safety, security, and the protection of the environment. The public comment period was originally scheduled to close on July 14, 2014. The NRC has decided to extend the public comment period to allow more time for members of the public to develop and submit their comments.”
“Comments must be filed no later than September 15, 2014. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received before this date.” See: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/07/09/2014-16049/low-level-radioactive-waste-regulatory-program
THEY USED TO CALL THIS CORPORATISM WHERE INDUSTRY LOBBY MEETS WITH GOVERNMENT TO AGREE ON THINGS – IT’S RELATED TO FASCISM. Industry and government bound together:
“Fascio, plural -sci /’faʃʃo, ʃi/ is an Italian word literally meaning “a bundle” or “a sheaf”, and figuratively league, and which was used in the late 19th century to refer to political groups of many different (and sometimes opposing) orientations. A number of nationalist fasci later evolved into the 20th century Fasci movement, which became known as fascism.
During the 19th century, the bundle of rods, in Latin called fasces and in Italian fascio, came to symbolize strength through unity,…”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascio http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasces