Remember Shirly Jackson, chairman of NRC, why did she resign? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

In June when the NRC wa supposed to shut down noncompliant nuc plants, the chairman shirly jackson suddenly resigned. has she ever spoken on this topic since then, is there any story behind the seens on this?


-- Patrick (, December 26, 1999


The NRC never said it would shut down anybody then (or now for that matter), but June 30 or July 1st was the deadline to either be "ready" or to say when you "planned" to be. And "ready" could be ready with exceptions. I always thought the timing of Dr. Jackson's departure was a "message". But she left to take some other position I seem to remember, and ... here is info on that

includes this snippet:

Those sentiments were echoed by some of the severest critics of the NRC, who credited her with rehabilitating the agency following repeated safety violations at Connecticut's Millstone Power Station.

"She showed more integrity than the lot of her predecessors combined,'' said James Riccio, staff attorney at Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.

But Riccio fears the credibility she brought to NRC will leave with her. He pointed to a commission rule, effective today, that would restrict the public's ability to attend NRC meetings.

"I was about to issue a press release saying 'Ain't no sunshine when she's gone,' '' Riccio said.

Also if I remember right, her appointed replacement (who needed Senate approval which I have heard no followup about) was (coincidentally I'm sure) a native of Little Rock, Ark.


"Depending upon the degree of Y2K readiness in safety systems, the result of a Loss of Offsite Power or Station Blackout could range from an analyzed, expected, plant response to a more significant event. Moreover, if emergency response is required offsite, the degree to which the telecommunications infrastructure is Y2K compliant would dictate the effectiveness of that response. To be sure, we at the NRC do not deem such an outbreak of failures to be probable based upon what we currently know about Y2K. Rather, it is the possibility of such events that motivates our actions."

"We have come to recognize that nuclear power plants are not islands. The plants rely upon stable electrical distribution systems to support steady-state operations. Symbiotically, stable distribution systems rely on the collective output of generating facilities. In a very real sense then, we all are dependent on the stability of one another. - Former NRC Chairman Dr. Shirley Jackson February 9, 1999

More on Dr. Jackson

-- Linda (, December 26, 1999.

Pat, is was my understanding prior to June that NRC had posted they would shut down noncompliant plants if they missed the date you posted. When I went back to their site to follow-up after the date, they changed the policy.

-- Hokie (, December 26, 1999.

Hokie - you might check the archives on Rick Cowles forum. But if memory serves it was a deadline with no teeth. Here's something I posted June 25, 1999: *Interesting* timeline of NRC activities lately I just read an interesting article that shows how nice nuclear waste really is. It made me think that Bill Richardson or the NRC should put out a nice video. Like the Anheuser-Busch commercials that come out every Christmas. A nice stroll through the trees.. birds chirping, deer grazing, shot of the pond, underwater shots of the largemouth bass. No words.. just a subtle shot of the nuclear waste site signs. Implied message - NUCLEAR WASTE - GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.. good for you too.

It also made me think that there is very some *INTERESTING* timing of all these things.

Feb. 9, 1999 - statement that seems to say that the NRC CANNOT shut down the nukes without putting the grid at risk - [see Catch 22 on the Electric forum].

We have come to recognize that nuclear power plants are not islands. The plants rely upon stable electrical distribution systems to support steady-state operations. Symbiotically, stable distribution systems rely on the collective output of generating facilities. In a very real sense then, we all are dependent on the stability of one another. NRC Chairman DR. Shirley Jackson February 9, 1999

March 1 - 5, 1999 NRC holds 5 days of meetings to decide on new policy regarding potassium iodide: March 1st, March 2nd, March 3rd, March 4th, March 5th.

May 18, 1999. NRC announces Interi m Enforcement Policy - for nuclear power plants to include an interim policy to exercise enforcement discretion for noncompliance with license conditions, including technical specifications (TSs), during year 2000 (Y2K) transition or rollover periods. (i.e. allows them to break their rules without shutdown)

June 16, 1999 NRC Chairman Dr. Shirley Jackson RESIGNS effective July 1st (the deadline for nuke plants to submit Y2K readiness *PLANS*). Clinton appoints a Little Rock native Greta Dicus to take her place (must be approved by Senate - wonder when THAT will happen).

June 18th, 1999 an article on the NRC recommending STOCKPILING Potassium Iodide.

June 24th, 1999 - Nuclear waste - good for the environment article. [watch for video to follow -bg-]

June 24th is also the 1st anniversary of a near real BAD THING at Davis-Besse Nuclear Station on Lake Erie. Note the loss of power AND that the "hot line" went dead too. In a worst case scenario where power and telecommunications are lost, if there is a radiation release... HOW WOULD YOU KNOW???


1. They have no intention of shutting down any nuclear plants even if they are not compliant. This implication comes from the statement of Dr. Jackson, and from the fact that they have been rather lax about inspections, and their Interim policy which allows them to skirt the regulations rather than shutting down. Nowhere do I see any strong statements that the plants must be compliant OR ELSE.

2. The change in a longstanding potassium iodide policy brought about by the NRC, in conjunction with the FDA, DOE, and the WHO - at this time - would IMPLY that there is a non-trivial risk of one or more nuclear "incidents" due to Y2K.

If you read the minutes of the 5 days of meetings of the KI Core group , you may notice repeated recommendations to allow KI to be available to ordinary citizens so they would have it available IN ADVANCE OF EXPOSURE. This is quite a change, and I think the timing is more than coincidental.

-- Linda (, December 26, 1999.

Wish I had printed it at the time, but I SPECIFICALLY remember the NRC said that any plant that was not compliant by July 1 would be shut down. I also remember reading that some plants take as long as 3 months to shut down really thoroughly.

-- preparing (, December 26, 1999.

Some related history: Around mid May of 1999, I sought a meeting with the President. I said that I would like to meet with him and his advisors to express to my concerns regarding Y2K and the way in which the Federal government was addressing the problem. I mentioned that I would like to bring two others to such a meeting if it could be arranged. I requested that the meeting be scheduled for May 25 or 26 when the two individuals that I hoped could participate would be in Washington. (They were to testify before the Senate Committee Hearing on Community Preparedness held on May 26.)

I copied my letter to the President to John Podesta and I accompanied the request with a copy of Parts 1 - 3 of my White Paper.

Simultaneously I also requested a meeting for either of the same dates at different times of day with Mr. Koskinen saying again that if a meeting were possible, I would like to bring two people with me, each of whom were quite deeply involved with Y2K. The Y2K-related efforts of both individuals were well known to Mr. Koskinen.

The response to both requests came back from Mr. Koskinen. He responded affirmatively to the request to meet with him adding that he would also be meeting with us on behalf of the President and John Podesta. The meeting with Mr. Koskinen took place on May 25 around 5 PM in the Old Executive Office Building. It lasted for a little over an hour. The other two participants were present during all of the exchange including the following:

I expressed my concerns to Mr. Koskinen regarding a variety of matters including Y2K-related risks associated with nuclear power plants. I asked Mr. Koskinen what would the government do about any U.S. nuclear power plants that were not certified as being Y2K compliant by the (then) deadline of June 30, 1999. He said quite emphatically that he would shut them down. I did not expect that answer. I immediately asked him if he would say that for the record. He said in no uncertain terms that he would.

Apparently he changed his mind concerning these matters soon after that meeting. I know that he was asked the question by the media and he did not repeat the answer that he had given me. To my knowledge, he only made such a statement concerning the shutting down of nuclear power plants (that were not compliant as of June 30) at the meeting in his office on May 25. Since he indicated that no qualms whatsoever about saying the same thing to the media, and since two others were present, I feel that it is not a breach of confidence for me to report these statements of his here.

-- Paula Gordon (, December 26, 1999.

Thank you, Paula, I knew I heard that somewhere. And I mistakenly thought it was July 1....June 30th was, I guess, the exact date.

The NRC said this, as well.

-- preparing (, December 26, 1999.

Thank you all very much for the answers. This forum is great. God bless you all and may He send you all the graces you need to save your souls (and your hides) in the new year. IHS JMJ AMDG

-- Patrick (, December 27, 1999.

Date: Sun Dec 26 1999 14:37 gwyz (@strat\Re: White House Nervous about Y2k) ID#44161: Copyright ) 1999 gwyz/Kitco Inc. All rights reserved My father in law is a Big Shot ( CEO ) of a very large and well known Brokerage Firm.

He just spent $13,000 dollars for a Generator, which he has thus far claimed that he had it installed *only* for the local blackouts they get sometimes.

However, there is a big hole in that story. He is a Big Man on Wall Street and part of his job is keeping his mouth shut. He doesnt give his own family "stock tips!" That is why I was suspicious about the reason he gave me for installing the generator. He only gets blackouts in the *Summer!*

My ( unspoken ) suspicions about the true reason for the generator were confirmed this past week when he "Flipped Out" over the fact that the Propane Companies are all telling him they cannot get a Propane Backup Tank for him until the *third week* of January. He is *VERY* upset about it. He has *MONEY* and cannot get a Propane Tank.

Why does he want a Propane Backup when he claims he installed it for local electrical failures in which the Natural Gas still flows? That was his "Stand" on the reason for installing it. QUOTE: "I will have electricity to power my gas furnace. The gas is on when the powe goes out." ( He is very aware of the fact that there is NO GAS during a "regional" outtage ) .

Then why is a BIG MAN ON WALL STREET Sh_tting his pants because he waited until the last minute, and now cannot get a Propane backup for his *$13,000 dollar* Generator. ( $13,000 before installation cost! ) .

Man, anyone who is still laughing at Y2k is so "effed" that I feel very sorry for them.

-- Andy (, December 27, 1999.

Thanks Paula. Very *interesting* your meeting with K. in May. But even though he was very definite in his statement to you, what regulatory authority was he ever given over nuclear plants (or anything else for that matter)? Still, if we assume that he was speaking the truth as he knew it at the time, we might reasonably expect that your meeting triggered a phone call or meeting with Dr. Jackson or someone else at the NRC. If so, add this to the interesting "data points" in the timeline above. You meet with Koskinen May 25th, get assurances that non-COMPLIANT nukes will be shutdown at the deadline, then 3 weeks later Dr. Jackson (thought by some to have more integrity than the lot of her predecessors combined) announces her resignation - effective on the deadline date. *Perhaps* it adds to my theory that the nukes CAN'T shut down without risking grid shutdown, which could lead to station blackout and possible core meltdown. (we certainly have heard no tough ultimatums from the NRC since July) If true, the only way all the nukes could shut down is if a national emergency is declared and power distribution is controlled to assure the grids stay up. And that assumes the non-nuclear plants are compliant or ready - which of course they say they are. But then EVERYBODY says they are ready.

-- Linda (, December 27, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

But then EVERYBODY says they are ready.

And we know that ain't true...

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), December 27, 1999.

NRC's "deadline" was, as noted above, for all plants to report readiness, or their schedule to complete readiness. (Several needed shutdowns in Oct or Nov to finished planned maintenance.)

Of the 104-odd plants, 80 were complete (as reported so to the NRC) as of the July 1 deadline. The remaining 24 needed more time, and as of Dec 3 -6 (about) all reported they were complete. So, all US plants are reporting complete, and have had their plans and remediation inspected and audited.....sounds good, right?

But remember, the nuclear plants are the only ones auditted, and the only ones with a dedicated design staff and complete documentation of all the systems, all the changes since construction, a complete vender list, qualified venders from a limited number of sources, the only ones with scheduled formal training and regular inspections in all backup systems, and the only ones legally responsibly from the president of the company to the Congress for compliance to standards. All nuclear plants reported their remediation and inspection data back to the NRC and to INPO (a certification/training/audit group independent of the NRC) so everybody else could learn what went wrong. In fact, due to theearly attention on nuclear plants from the public and the press, they were among th efirst to get started on remediation.

All the above means they are easiest (short of water systems) to remediate. Despite this wonderful background of technical knowledge and in-plant engineering and inspections, less than 80% were complete "on time" - the rest required an extension from the planned date of July 1, 1999.

Now, consider that also on July 1, EVERY ONE of the non-nuclear utilities reported - with the exception of a couple of FPL plants - that they were finished. Nobody was late, nobody missed the deadline, everybody was 100% done: even though they started later than the nuclear plants, had a more difficult job to do with worse documentation, and were working from older plants with many venders out of business/changed names/changed designs without sending data.......

Now, what's really wrong with this picture? Are the nuclear plants actually more vunerable than the fossil plants? NO.

Are they more accurately reporting status than the fossil plants? Most likely - there are no legal or criminal penalties to make up data for fossil plants, but substantial fines and prison terms for falsifying nuclear reports.....

-- Robert A Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (, December 27, 1999.

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