April 6, 2005- NRC Permits Release of Security Study on Nuclear Spent Fuel

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) made the following statement on the release of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report on spent nuclear fuel security.

“I am pleased that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has finally withdrawn its unreasonable objections to the release of this unclassified version of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report on the security of spent nuclear fuel.

"The report provides numerous recommendations for additional analyses and security upgrades to better secure spent nuclear fuel and mitigate the potential consequences of a successful terrorist attack on a spent fuel pool. I plan to offer an amendment at next week’s markup of the Energy bill that will implement the NAS recommendations.

I remain concerned, however, by the continued secrecy surrounding the release of these reports and other information to Congress and members of the public. The lack of access to this information coupled with the NRC’s recent proposal to limit access to previously public documents relating to security plans at nuclear reactors and other matters reveals a disturbing pattern of huggermugger and attempts to bar the public from playing any role in its activities. I have asked that the NRC Inspector General investigate whether the Commission has improperly barred Members of Congress and their staffs and members of the public from obtaining access to information. Security is one thing, but obstructing critical oversight of a powerful industry is another.”

April 6, 2005
 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness