2013-04-11 – NRC – Jocasse Dam – Update to FOIA Appeal 2013-009A – ML16237A006

2013-04-11-nrc-jocasse-dam-update-to-foia-appeal-2013-009a-ml16237a006

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April 11, 2013
1412 Dial Court
Springfield, IL 62704
Bill Borchardt, Executive Director for Operations (EDO)
Darren Ash, Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555‐0001
SUBJECT: Update to FOIA Appeal 2013‐009A
Dear Mr. Borchardt and Mr. Ash:
This letter is an update to a FOIA appeal the NRC acknowledged on March 29, 2013 concerning FOIA/PA
2013‐0126. The NRC’s acknowledgment letter to that appeal is included as Enclosure 1. Today (2013‐
04‐11), I received a response to FOIA 2013‐0126, which I have included as Enclosure 2. Note that this
response has come 40 working days after my initial request and 9 working days after I submitted an
appeal in accordance with 10 CFR §9.25.
On Tuesday, February 12, 2013 I requested five records from the NRC:
1. ML103490330, Oconee Nuclear Site, Units 1, 2, and 3. Oconee Response to Confirmatory Action
Letter (CAL) 2‐10‐003, dated Nov. 29, 2010
2. ML111460063, Oconee Nuclear Site, Units 1, 2, and 3. Response to Confirmatory Action Letter
(CAL) 2‐10‐003, dated April 29, 2011
3. ML100780084, Generic Failure Rate Evaluation for Jocassee Dam Risk Analysis
4. ML101610083, Oconee Nuclear Station, Units 1, 2, and 3, ‐ External Flood Commitments
5. ML101900305, Identification of a Generic External Flooding Issue Due to Potential Dam Failures
My incoming FOIA request can be found in ADAMS as ML13044A487.
Today, I was provided the following documents in your response to FOIA 2013‐0126:
1. ML103490330 (released without redactions so not part of FOIA Appeal 2013‐009A)
2. ML13099A247 instead of ML111460063 (included with this appeal as Enclosure 3)
3. ML13039A084 instead of ML100780084 (included with this appeal as Enclosure 4)
4. ML101610083 (released without redactions so can be removed from FOIA Appeal 2013‐009A)
5. ML13039A086 instead of ML101900305 (included with this appeal as Enclosure 5)
For the records denied, Exemption 7F of the Freedom of Information Act is claimed. I disagree with this
decision and in this letter am providing you the reasons for that disagreement so that, if you chose, you
can take this information into account when evaluating FOIA Appeal 2013‐009A.
I see nothing in the records requested which indicate they were compiled for law enforcement purposes
nor do I see anything which would indicate to me that disclosure could reasonably be expected to
endanger the life or physical safety of an individual. It appears to me that the NRC is using Exemption 7F
as a means to withhold information which it believes may be beneficial to terrorists or saboteurs yet
none of the information withheld pertains to security processes or hardware. The information withheld
merely pertains to the nuclear safety hazards which deficiencies in the Oconee Station’s flooding
defenses pose to the American public. These safety risks are present due to the risks of natural disasters
and latent engineering/construction flaws and have nothing specifically pertaining to terrorist activities.
As a specific example, consider ML100780084, the Generic Failure Rate Evaluation of Jocassee Dam Risk
Analysis, submitted by James Vail, Fernando Ferrante, and Jeff Mitman on March 15, 2010. This
document was a formal write up of analyses done by NRR in 2007/2008 to support Region II’s efforts to
get Duke Energy to address safety concerns regarding flooding protection at Oconee. In this document,
the Reliability & Risk Analysts at NRR estimated the failure frequency of the Lake Jocassee Dam to be
2.8E‐4/yr which equates to a 1 in 3600 chance of failing in any given year. Given that the catastrophic
failure of the Lake Jocassee Dam would likely lead to a meltdown of the three reactors at the Oconee
Nuclear Station, the dam failure rate calculated by Vail, Ferrante & Mitman suggests that the probability
of a nuclear accident at Oconee Nuclear Station is ten times what it is at a typical US reactor plant. This
is the type of important information which President Obama expects us to share with the American
public (see the President’s 2009‐01‐19 memo on Open Government). Yet the NRC did not share this
information with the public. Instead, we stamped the Vail et. al. analysis as “Official Use Only – Security‐
Related Information” and for years never publicly mentioned its existence. Then, in response to a FOIA
request by Dave Lochbaum, we released a redacted version of this supposed “Security‐Related” report
as ML13039A084. The only redaction in this 15 page report was a figure on page 1 showing the generic
construction of Jocassee Dam – a figure very similar to what one can find in any Civil Engineering text
book. I have included similar publicly available figures as Enclosure 6. Despite the fact that this figure
did not provide any insight to terrorists, it apparently kept this important report from the public for
nearly three years. On March 25, 2013 I attended a public meeting with Duke Energy in which this very
same figure was presented by Duke Energy as a slide (see Enclosure 7). The slide show from this
meeting was forwarded to me by Jim Riccio of Greenpeace and was posted by the NRC on their public
website (ML13084A022). So this supposedly “Security‐Related” figure, which caused NRR to keep the
Vail et. al. analysis from the public for nearly three years and which NRR had redact from Dave
Lochbaum’s FOIA response in February 2013, was by March 2013 being emailed by NRR to Greenpeace
and being posted by NRR on the world‐wide web.
The world‐wide web gets that name for a reason: it is truly world‐wide. Iran, North Korea, Pakistan,
Saudi Arabia, and the host of other countries which sponsor terrorist activity against the United States
have access to this world‐wide web. So why can NRR email this generic drawing to Greenpeace and post
it on the web for our enemies to see yet must redact it from the version of the Vail et. al. analysis that it
sent to David Lochbaum, Tom Zeller and Paul Blanch in response to their separate FOIA requests? Is this
figure “Security‐Related” or not? If it is, why are we sharing it on the world‐wide web? If it is not, why
did we keep the Vail et. al. report from the public for nearly three years and why do we still refuse to
release it in its entirety? These are rhetorical questions. Please do not delay answering FOIA Appeal
2013‐009A due to these questions. I merely wish to point out to you some inconsistencies in your
control of information in the event you would like to consider those inconsistencies while addressing
FOIA Appeal 2013‐009A.
Additionally, information redacted from the documents supplied to me today has already been publicly
release to Greenpeace in our 2013‐02‐06 partial response (ML130520858) to FOIA 2012‐0325
(ML12263A087).
Under FOIA Appeal 2013‐009A, please release the following three records to me with no redactions.
 ML111460063, Oconee Nuclear Site, Units 1, 2, and 3. Response to Confirmatory Action Letter
(CAL) 2‐10‐003, dated April 29, 2011
 ML100780084, Generic Failure Rate Evaluation for Jocassee Dam Risk Analysis
 ML101900305, Identification of a Generic External Flooding Issue Due to Potential Dam Failures
Again, this letter is an update to FOIA Appeal 2013‐009A in response to documents I received today
from the NRC. The information I received came in response to FOIA Request 2013‐0126 and not FOIA
Appeal 20013‐009A. I expect FOIA Appeal 2013‐009A to be answered within 30 working days from
March 29, 2013 (i.e. by May 10, 2013). I am providing the information in this letter for you to consider if
you so choose.
Although I live in Springfield, IL, I work in Rockville, MD. Please do not send documents to my home in
Springfield, IL as I will not get them in a timely manner. Please send all written correspondence to me
via email at [email protected] If your processes will not allow you to do this, then please
contact me via phone or email and I will come by the FOIA desk to pick up the correspondence.
Very respectfully,
Lawrence S. Criscione, PE
(573) 230‐3959
Enclosures (7)
Cc: Billie Garde, Esq., Clifford & Garde
Louis Clark, The Government Accountability Project
Fernando Ferrante, NRC/NRR/DRA
Jeff Mitman, NRC/NRR/DRA
Dave Lochbaum, Union of Concerned Scientists
Jim Riccio, Greenpeace
Tom Zeller, Huffington Post
Paul Blanch, consultant
March 29, 2013
FOIA/PA-2013-00009A
FOIA/PA-2013-00126
FOIA/PA-2013-00010A
FOIA/PA-2013-00127
FOIA/PA-2013-00011A
FOIA/PA-2013-00128
Lawrence Criscione
1412 Dial Court
Springfield, IL 62704
Dear Requester:
We have logged your March 29, 2013 correspondences as appeals for Lack of Response to
you under FOIA/PA-2013-00126, FOIA/PA-2013-00127 and FOIA/PA-2013-00128.
Your appeals have been assigned the following reference numbers that you should use in any
future communications with us about your appeals: FOIA/PA-2013-00009A, FOIA/PA-2013-
00010A, and FOIA/PA-2013-00011A.
The following person is the FOIA/PA Specialist who has been assigned responsibility for your
appeals: Linda Kilgore at 301-415-5775.
If you have questions on any matters concerning your FOIA/PA appeals, please feel free to
contact the FOIA/PA Specialist assigned to your appeals or me. I can be reached at
301-415-7169.
Sincerely,
/S/
Donna L. Sealing
FOIA/Privacy Act Officer
Office of Information Services
Enclosure:
Incoming Request
UNITED STATES
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555-0001
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