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Nuke industry insider speaks out... Or not.

I recently retired after nearly 15 years from a government organization whose mission was to ensure the protection of the public health and safety with respect to commercial use of nuclear power.

A key word in this statement is “public,” of which I, as a retiree, am now part. Each year, the agency holds its Regulatory Information Conference (RIC), open to the public, during which its commissioners, internal staff, nuclear industry representatives, and members of the public (sometimes affiliated with nuclear “watchdog” groups) are invited to speak.

While I often offered to speak as a then-internal, senior staff member with particular expertise in a critical safety area (nuclear plant fire risk), I was always ignored, most likely because my opinions were not necessarily aligned with the political objectives of the agency (whose were usually more in line with the interests of the nuclear industry than necessarily those of the “public”).

Now that I am retired, I have once again offered to speak, this time as a specially knowledgeable member of the public, not unlike those speakers invited from selected “watchdog” groups.

My requests, first to the RIC Organizing Committee and then to the chairman of the agency’s commission itself, have gone unanswered, without even the professional courtesy of a “thanks, but no thanks” response. While I grew to expect such ignoring as a staff member, I am disappointed to see that, even as a member of the “public” whom the agency alleges to “protect” and serve, I am again totally ignored.

The fact that my opinions likely do not align with the agency’s (or the nuclear industry’s) political objectives should not be a basis for such treatment, especially since invited “watchdog” speakers are known, if not expected, to be presenting views contrary to the agency’s (and the nuclear industry’s) in their role as public representatives.

Selective invitations to speak at the alleged “Information” Conference leaves one to wonder just how “informative” such a conference really is. What is not said may be more “informative” than what is.

Raymond Gallucci


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