Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Docket ID No. NRC–2012–0246 Re: Waste (No-)Confidence meetings

To: Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov
cc: Sarah.Lopas@nrc.gov

September 17th, 2013

To Whom It May Concern, NRC:

During the protocol portion of the Waste (No-)Confidence proceedings, which are scheduled to start October 1st, I (and others) repeat asked for the ability to view, and participate in all the hearings which are to be held nationally. Webcast, phone-in, webinar -- all have been denied.

So at the last Waste (No-)Confidence protocol phone-in earlier this week, instead of asking yet again for one of these things, I commented instead on the SCOPE of the Waste (No-)Confidence decisions being considered. That comment was also denied but in a different way: I was told it would be a good comment to submit during the Waste (No-)Confidence comment period, which began the next day.

I therefore am submitting those comments, as suggested. As it turns out, I had thought to record the comment with my smartphone at the last moment, so I can submit it not only word-for-word, but inflection-for-inflection by submitting it as an audio recording.

But inflection also only carries part of the meaning. There's still nothing to see. That is why NRC is required to meet in the same room with the ratepayers, advocates, concerned citizens, and other interested parties and stakeholders in their decisions. That is why the NRC is required to come out to the local communities.

Visual accompaniment -- either of the speaker or of the speaker's presentations (slides, videos, etc.) -- is another important part of communication. Therefore I took the recording of the comments I made at the Waste (No-)Confidence protocol phone-in, which I was told should be submitted during the comment period, and added visual aids to further explain what I'm talking about.

That video has been uploaded to You-Tube and is available here:


The audio is uncut and unedited, and runs under two minutes.

I would like this video to be played at the opening hearing to be held October 1st, 2013 at the central NRC headquarters in Maryland. Additionally, if possible, it would be very convenient if my time to speak is scheduled fairly accurately for that hearing, because the California Public Utilities Commission is holding a hearing locally (in San Diego, 30 miles from my home) the same day, about decommissioning San Onofre. I would like to speak at both hearings if I can arrange it, since the topics are tightly intertwined. I will probably end up listening to and watching the Waste (No-)Confidence proceedings with earbuds on my smartphone while physically at the other hearing, paying as close attention to it as possible with my other ear.

If my 4G connection fails so I am unable to speak, at least the video could be played. If I have a live connection, as I expect to have, then I hope I could also add a minute or two of additional commentary such as responding to the NRC staffer's additional comment that I should take a look at page 4-79 of the recently-published Waste Confidence document, which I have since done, and which was not enlightening in any way.

This brings me to the second topic of this letter: Why can't the Nuclear Regulatory Commission set up some form of Internet bi-directional connection for EACH of the dozen Waste (No-)Confidence meetings around the nation? Of course you don't want to be loaded up with the same people "preaching to the choir" over and over again -- but there are ways to avoid that. So why not transmit the audio and video and have a live audio/video chat line or at least a typed questions column? It's something that literally tens of thousands of other organizations (and you too, probably) do every day. So why not for these vitally-important, judicially-mandated proceedings?

After all, this is 2013. NRC needs to get real about the technological challenges it faces regarding nuclear waste. NRC should also get real about the technological marvels that are available in the real world to help them follow their mandates: To protect the world from radioactive accidents (best done by switching to solar power), to properly inform the public of their regulatory decisions, and to allow the public to take part in formulating our national nuclear policies.

Those policies have been irrational for too long. Not allowing ALL of the public to witness and be a part of ALL of these historic "65-years-of-failure" Waste (No-) Confidence proceedings is a criminal act of denial-of-service.

Even to drive 50 miles round trip these days can be a significant expense for a struggling household. A nuclear accident can easily affect 100s of miles around. Roughly 80% of the population of the United States lives that close to a nuclear power plant, nuclear infrastructure (such as a fuel fabrication facility) or transportation route for nuclear waste. NRC's "Waste (No-)Confidence" decisions affect everybody. Everybody should have a right and an opportunity to participate. In fact, the hearings -- sorry, meetings -- should allow people to speak for far more than the usual three minutes if they need too. I would like to also submit the following video, called "THE PHYSICS OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL" which we made from a live Internet chat I did a couple of months ago:


It's a 31 1/2 minute video, but if there's a more appropriate kickoff to explain to interested parties what the issues are regarding "Waste (No-)Confidence" I haven't seen it, which is why we made it.

The team that created these videos (myself and my buddies) would be happy to go to EACH of the NRC's "Waste (No-)Confidence" meetings and ensure that some form of live transmission occurs. We would also record the meetings in HD. We could live-broadcast all the proceedings for the NRC -- unforeseeable technological hurdles notwithstanding (unlike nuclear power operators, we are realists). For financial reasons of course, it would be impractical for us to do so without compensation for travel, time and expenses, but the public would undoubtedly appreciate the money being spent so they could see and even participate in the proceedings live as they occur. NRC should already know the public wants this, based on the many comments requesting Internet access that were made during the protocol phone-ins.

I'm sure, however, if NRC was willing to pay for it, they could ensure that each hearing is broadcast on their own, without our help. Most universities these days can do it from any classroom, for instance. I'm sure NRC could do it too, if they tried.

In the meantime, please let me know about the other matters discussed in this letter.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

The author has attended over 100 Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearings, meetings, webinars, phone-ins, etc. over the past 20+ years. He has studied nuclear issues since the 1960s, when, as a child, he wanted to understand why we had to "duck and cover" in the first place.

>I would argue that immersion is primarily a quality of consciousness that has to do with the capture and control of attention, a necessary condition for any interpersonal persuasion, education, or entertainment to occur. - Diana Slattery.

Important upcoming events:

From: Carol Jahnkow <caroljahnkow@gmail.com>
To: SCG-Team <decommission@sanonofre.com>, NFC <Nirs@sanonofre.com>


September and October will be busy months as we move into the setting the stage for the Decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. There will be two public meetings sponsored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (both in Carlsbad) and a Public Participation Hearing of the California Public Utilities Commission in Kearny Mesa. We have worked hard to get these bodies to come to San Diego County and we would like to have a great turnout so that these two agencies can hear our concerns!

The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre will also hold its own Community Symposium on the decommissioning of San Onofre and the ongoing problems and hazards of the nuclear waste stored there on October 21. We are bringing in two top experts who will talk to us about the issues and help guide us into making sure that the decommissioning process moves forward and that the nuclear waste hazard is addressed ASAP. This program will be in San Clemente.

1. Thursday, September 26, 2013


Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) public meeting on decommissioning San Onofre will be at the Omni La Costa Hotel, 2100 Costa del Mar Road, in Carlsbad, from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, September 26. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for security screening.

2. Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Save the Date for the CA PUC 's first Public Participation Hearing in San Diego on how much ratepayers should be stuck with for the defective San Onofre Power Plant!

2 p.m.-5 p.m. AND 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
NOTE that there are 2 sessions: 2-5p and 6:30-9:30p. You don't have to be there the entire time reserved by this Event.

LIKELY to have a Press Conference & Rally at ~ 1p. and Overpass Light Brigade in the evening! Stay tuned.

Al Bahr Shriners Building, 5440 Kearny Mesa Rd., San Diego, CA 92111

3. Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (RAD)Waste "Confidence" Public Meeting--Carlsbad, California
Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa
5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad, California 92008

Open House 6-7 p.m.
Meeting 7-9 p.m.

The NRC has scheduled twelve public meetings to receive comments on the Waste Confidence Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) and proposed rule. The NRC Waste Confidence Directorate staff will present a short overview of the DGEIS and proposed rule, after which interested parties and members of the public are invited to present oral comments on the documents. All twelve meetings will be transcribed, and transcripts will be added to the official record for consideration in preparing the final GEIS and rule.


4. Saturday, October 19, 2013
Community Symposium on the Decommissioning of San Onofre and the Ongoing Dangers of Nuclear Waste

1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley, 1201 Puerta Del Sol, Suite 100, San Clemente, California 92673.

Featured speakers: Arjun Makhijani, expert on HOSS (Hardened On Site Storage) and long-term high-level waste management issues and President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Marvin Resnikoff has worked on nuclear waste issues with government, industry, and activists for decades, Senior Associate at Radioactive Waste Management Associates and is an international consultant on radioactive waste management issues. He is Principal Manager at Associates and is Project Director for dose reconstruction and risk assessment studies of radioactive waste facilities and transportation of radioactive materials.


Japan Lessons-Learned Tier 3 issue on expedited transfer to dry casks:

From: "Witt, Kevin" <Kevin.Witt@nrc.gov>
Subject: Presentation Slides for 9/18 NRC Public Meeting on Spent Fuel Pool
Study and Tier 3 Expedited Transfer

Hello everyone, please see the attached presentation slides for tomorrow�s public meeting to discuss the staff analysis of Japan Lessons-Learned Tier 3 issue on expedited transfer of spent fuel to dry cask storage and to discuss the Spent Fuel Pool Study.

The slides are posted in ADAMS (accessible on the NRC website at http://adams.nrc.gov/wba/) under accession # ML13259A420

We will have copies of the slides available for meeting attendees, and the slides will be posted on the screen for both the webinar and webcast on the NRC website at http://video.nrc.gov.

Please let me know if I can provide any additional information.

Thank you,

Kevin Witt
Project Manager
Japan Lessons Learned Project Directorate
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555
Office (301) 415-2145

Newsletter authorship and contact information:


Ace Hoffman
Author, The Code Killers:
An Expose of the Nuclear Industry
Free download: acehoffman.org
Blog: acehoffman.blogspot.com
YouTube: youtube.com/user/AceHoffman
Carlsbad, CA
Email: ace [at] acehoffman.org



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