"Court Seeks More Public Input on Nuclear Safety"

"A federal appeals court has ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must either allow more public participation in its decisions about fire safety at the Indian Point 3 nuclear reactor or to show why such input is impractical or inappropriate."

"A lawsuit brought by Richard L. Brodsky, a former New York State assemblyman and opponent of Indian Point, involves exemptions granted by the commission from compliance with some fire regulations. Like many reactors around the country, Indian Point installed a fire retardant called Hemyc around critical electric cables in the 1980s to meet a rule that the cables had to be safe from fire for one hour. But the material turned out to be nowhere near as fire-resistant as advertised.

In granting the exemption, the regulatory commission cut the amount of time that the retardant would have to be effective to a level that the plant could meet. Critics said this was unsafe, but the agency said it had re-analyzed the amount of time the substance actually needed to work to ensure safety."

Matthew L. Wald reports for the New York Times' Green blog January 9, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Court Upholds Public Process in Nuclear Plant Safety 'Exemptions'" (ENS)
 

Source: Green/NYT, 01/10/2013