2016-05-17 – NRC – Jocassee Dam – Concerns from NRC staff about Jocasse Flooding Analysis and Response to Public Laws – ML16202A537


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Criscione, Lawrence
From: Criscione, Lawrence
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 8:49 AM
To: Kirkwood, Sara; Holahan, Gary; Clark, Theresa
Cc: ‘[email protected]’; Mitman, Jeffrey; Bensi, Michelle; Philip, Jacob; Perkins,
Subject: RE: RE: Meeting next week
I look forward to meeting with you this morning.
Several colleagues of mine have expressed concerns regarding how the agency is handling flooding issues
and have indicated they would like to meet with your team to discuss their concerns. Their concerns relate to
the two bulleted items in your email below. Jeff Mitman, Michelle Bensi, Jake Philip and Richard Perkins are
all willing to meet with your team.
Jeff Mitman has specific concerns regarding Jocassee/Oconee in that the flooding analysis being used does
not take into account the Lake Jocassee Dam failing from overtopping. These concerns fall under the first
bulleted item in your email below.
Jeff Mitman, Michelle Bensi and Jake Philip have expressed concerns regarding the agency’s response to
Section 402 of Public Law 112-074. Their concerns were expressed in an October 2014 non-concurrence that
was primarily authored by Dr. Bensi. Jake has also expressed concerns regarding water-tight seals for power
plant penetrations. These concerns fall under the second bulleted item in your email below, although they are
not necessarily limited to the plants mentioned.
Richard Perkins has concerns regarding the manner in which the screening analysis report for Generic Issue
204 (flooding at nuclear power plant sites due to upstream dam failures) was redacted. Mr. Perkins’ concerns
were the primary motivation behind my 2012-Sep-18 letter to the NRC Chairman.
In a 2012-Oct-15 letter to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental
Affairs I noted that there is no interagency process for ensuring that dams upstream of nuclear reactor plants
are guarded to the same design basis threat (DBT) that the NRC requires nuclear power plants (NPP) to be
guarded to. I realize that it is not within the NRC’s authority to dictate the guard force required at dams
regulated by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) or maintained by the US Army Corps of
Engineers (USACE). However, since the catastrophic failure of the Oconee Nuclear Station would lead to a
reactor accident at Oconee, it is illogical to require that Oconee be guarded against a specific DBT yet to not—
after 8 years of claiming the flood height at Oconee due to a Jocassee Dam failure is non-public securityrelated
information—have done any study to determine whether or not the same DBT that we believe could
cause an accident at Oconee could also breach the Lake Jocassee Dam.
That is, to my knowledge no one has studied what the design basis threat to the Lake Jocassee Dam is and
whether or not that dam is adequately guarded against that threat. If the same DBT that could threaten
Oconee could also be capable of destroying the Lake Jocassee Dam, then reason dictates that the Lake
Jocassee Dam must be guarded against that DBT. I recognize this is an interagency problem the NRC would
like to avoid. But we have a duty to address it for Oconee and for all other susceptible reactors. What is the
design basis threat capable of destroying the dam? Is that threat less than or equal to the DBT for Oconee? If
so, then the Lake Jocassee Dam needs to be guarded against that DBT. Just because this is an interagency
problem does not mean the NRC can ignore it.
A similar concern exists regarding insider threats. When I worked in the nuclear industry, I needed to be
screened into PADS (Personnel Access Data System?) to ensure there was nothing adverse in my
background. Can an insider threat at the Jocassee Dam pump storage station cause the dam to fail? If so,
are the requirements for background checks and fitness-for-duty at the Jocassee Dam pump storage station
the same or greater than the requirements at Oconee?
I don’t know if you consider my concerns regarding external and internal security threats at the Lake Jocassee
Dam to fall within the two bulleted items in your email below, but they certainly need to be addressed.
Also, I did not mention the silo-ing issue in my disclosure to the OSC because I only became aware of it
recently. You should address what is driving the NRC to silo flooding information and the potential impact of
that silo-ing upon the agency’s Open and Collaborative Work Environment.
To:[email protected];?Criscione,?Lawrence?;?’[email protected]’?
Dear Mr. Devine,
This note is to confirm that members of the Flooding Working Group will interview your client, Mr. Criscione,
on Tuesday, May 17th, 10:00 a.m., at NRC Headquarters, Room O1F22. The interview will be transcribed.
NRC Headquarters
One White Flint North Building (OWFN)
11555 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852.
The purpose is to interview Mr. Criscione about the allegations he presented to the Office of the Special
Counsel (OSC) regarding the risk of flooding at 19 specific plants located downstream from dams. In response
to the referral from OSC, Chairman Burns convened a working group to conduct an investigation into the
matters referred to him. Please note that the working group’s investigation is limited in scope to issues referred
by OSC. Our investigation, and thus our interview is limited to the following:
? Whether the NRC has failed to require the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina to take corrective
measures to safeguard the plant from potential flooding should the Lake Jocassee Dam fail.
? Whether the NRC has also failed to require the following nuclear power stations (Arkansas Nuclear,
Beaver Valley, Browns Ferry, Columbia, Cooper, Fort Calhoun, H.B. Robinson, Hope Creek/Salem,
Indian Point, McGuire, Peach Bottom, Prairie Island, Sequoyah, South Texas, Surry, Three Mile Island,
Waterford, and Watts Bar) to take appropriate measures to protect against the risk of flooding in the
event of upstream dam failures.
You will be registered in the visitor access system. Upon arrival to the building, your vehicle will be subject to
a routine screening, the security officer will direct you to a parking space, once parked, please walk around to
the front of the OWFN building to check in at the security desk with a valid ID.
The following link provides directions to NRC Headquarters
Map for Visitor vehicle entrance