“I’m really glad to get the opportunity to meet and I look forward to hearing from all of you,” Macfarlane said at the outset of the 75-minute session.” She added after a cordial session that as a former academic she likes to hear all sides of an issue and “the public has legitimate concerns and technical knowledge.”
Magwood, who noted he has met with a number of interest groups on his visits to plants regulated by the NRC and helped set in motion improvements in the way the agency communicates with Tribal governments, said he too valued the meeting. “We like these dialogues because they give us a different perspective,” he said. He also noted, as did Macfarlane, that NRC employees “really do care about the health and safety of the American people.”
Gene Stone, of the San Clemente, Calif.-based group Residents Organized for a Safe Environment, who worked with the chairman’s office to arrange the meeting, said, “We are hoping that you will tighten the ship and through your collegial interactions work together for safety and not just the licensee.”
Topics raised by the vistors ranged from reactor-specific issues to the length of time it takes to get safety issues resolved, real time radiation monitoring, Agreement State issues, the National Environmental Protection Act, disposal of uranium mining products, and on-site waste storage. Plants mentioned in the discussion included San Onofre in California, Davis-Besse in Ohio, Palisades in Michigan, Zion in Illinois, Millstone in Connecticut, Fort Calhoun in Nebraska, and a nuclear fuel plant in Tennesse. Macfarlane was presented with two petitions that the groups said had in excess of 68,000 signatures — 24,000-plus from California — seeking the closure of the San Onofre plant near San Clemente.
Others at the meeting included David Kraft of the Nuclear Energy Information Service in Chicago; Linda Cataldo Modica of the Sierra Club in Jonesboro, Tenn.; Josh Nelson of Credo in Washington, D.C.; Michael Mariotte of the Nuclear Information Resource Service in Takoma Park, Md.; and Nancy Burton of the Connecticut Coalition against Millstone of Redding Ridge, Conn. (NRC Blog, 9/22/2012)