White House Backs Rollback of Cleanup Standards for Nuclear Incidents

"WASHINGTON -- The White House has endorsed a plan to relax long-held standards for cleaning up radioactive material released by a nuclear power plant disaster or act of terrorism, a group of federal officials say in a new draft report."

"As expected, the recently completed draft report on radiation remediation parts ways with standard U.S. practice and suggests guidelines under which as many as one in 23 people would be expected to develop cancer from long-term radiation exposure. The claim that the White House has agreed to abandon standard protocol in some instances is new.

One of the Obama administration’s first actions after taking office in January 2009 was to halt publication of a planned Environmental Protection Agency guide that contained similar rollbacks. A revised version of that document is now pending review at the White House Management and Budget Office.

The apparent shift in the administration’s position on the issue is alarming, said Daniel Hirsch, who as president of the nuclear watchdog group Committee to Bridge the Gap led a coalition of some 60 organizations against the stalled EPA guide."

Douglas P. Guarino reports for Global Security Newswire (Nuclear Threat Initiative/National Journal) March 25, 2013.

Source: Global Security Newswire, 03/26/2013