Thompson, Gordon (May 2003). Supporting Document for A Call for Action to Protect the Nation against Enemy Attack on Nuclear Power Plants and Spent Fuel. Pismo Beach, CA: San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace. (33 pages).

This report provides supporting information to a Call for Action that was prepared for the San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace in their efforts to protect the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.   The report details information about the increasing risk of attack on nuclear power plants and their irradiated (spent) fuel, and the challenge it poses to our social institutions.   In addition to basic information about nuclear plants, spent fuel storage, and NRC regulations, the document discusses the vulnerabilities of these facilities and suggests measures for protecting them.   Finally, the report lists government efforts to obtain protection and policy initiatives that are still needed, concluding with a call for an independent technical capability to correct for bias in security assessments.

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San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, with assistance from IRSS (April 2003 ). A Call for Action to Protect the Nation Against Enemy Attack on Nuclear Power Plants and Spent Fuel. Pismo Beach, CA: San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace. (4 pages).

This document, prepared for the San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace in their efforts to protect the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, is a call for citizens across the US to inform themselves about the increasing risk of attack on nuclear power plants and their irradiated (spent) fuel.  The Call for Action was supplemented by a more detailed Supporting Document produced by IRSS.

The Call for Action includes three important tables.   The first describes four measures to protect nuclear facilities against enemy attack:   Site Security, Facility Robustness, Damage Control, and Offsite Emergency Response. The second sets out an Action Agenda for Citizens, Local and State Governments, Congress, the Executive Branch and the Nuclear Industry, respectively.   The third outlines three specific Policy Initiatives that would be key components of the Action Agenda.

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Thompson, Gordon (26 March 2003). Viewgraphs for Sellafield—A Safe Future? Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Resource and Security Studies. (8 pages).

This document contains the overhead viewgraph illustrations accompanying a presentation by Gordon Thompson (Executive Director, IRSS) at a Panel Discussion Sponsored by the European Parliament Working Group on Nuclear Safety titled “Sellafield—A Safe Future?” held at the European Parliament, Brussels Room on March 26, 2003.  

The titles of the slides are: (1) Safety of Civilian Nuclear Facilities; (2) Major Activities at Sellafield; (3) Effects of Unplanned Radioactive Release at Sellafield; (4) Potential Release from Liquid HLW Tanks at Sellafield; (5) symmetric Warfare & Civilian Nuclear Facilities; (6) Nuclear Proliferation, International Security & Sellafield; and (7) Recommended Actions.  

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Thompson, Gordon (7 September 2002). Thompson Declaration in Support of a Petition by Avila Valley Advisory Council, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, Peg Pinard, et al. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Resource and Security Studies. (36 pages).

This document is a declaration by the author before the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to support the request of the San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace that the NRC consider new and more rigorous measures to protect the public against the threat that acts of malice or insanity will release radioactive material from nuclear facilities at the Diablo Canyon site.   Their Petition addresses two aspects of nuclear-facility operation at the Diablo Canyon site:   first, the pending application by the site licensee for a license for an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) at the site, and second, the current operation of the two nuclear generation units at the site.  

The declaration has twelve sections.   After the introduction, Section II addresses the author’s professional qualifications.   Then, Section III provides some information about the Diablo Canyon nuclear facilities, including the proposed ISFSI.   Section IV provides a generic discussion of the history of, and potential for, acts of malice or insanity at nuclear facilities.   This is followed, in Section V, by a generic discussion of the protection provided by NRC regulations against acts of malice or insanity at nuclear facilities.   Section VI discusses the vulnerability of Diablo Canyon nuclear facilities to such acts.   Then,   Section VII outlines the potential offsite consequences of such acts at Diablo Canyon.   Section VIII describes the types of measure that are available to protect the public against acts of malice or insanity at nuclear facilities, including those at Diablo Canyon.   Section IX sets forth a process for consideration of such measures.   Section X sets forth an approach to managing sensitive information about the vulnerability of nuclear facilities.   Then, Section XI describes a set of interim measures that could improve public protection against acts of malice or insanity at Diablo Canyon.   Conclusions are presented in Section XII.  

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Thompson, Gordon (3 January 2002). Civilian Nuclear Facilities as Weapons for an Enemy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Resource and Security Studies. (8 pages).

This submission to the House of Commons Defence Committee addresses the potential role of civilian nuclear facilities as radiological weapons for an enemy of the UK.   The submission does not purport to provide a thorough analysis, but rather to bring a neglected subject to the Committee’s attention.   The report describes relevant nuclear facilities, citing the B215 facility at Sellafield as an example.   It relates how a nuclear facility can be used as a weapon and the effects of a radioactive release.   It then explains our present understanding of the threat and how it can be addressed,   concluding with recommendations to the Committee.

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Thompson, Gordon (June 2000). High Level Radioactive Liquid Waste at Sellafield: An Updated Review. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Resource and Security. (22 pages).

In June 1998, The Institute for Resource and Security Studies (IRSS) published a report titled High Level Radioactive Liquid Waste at Sellafield: Risks, Alternative Options and Lessons for Policy.   The present document of June 2000 provides an updated review of these issues, accounting for developments since June 1998.   Especially relevant is a February 2000 report by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII).   This NII report and other new information confirm and extend the conclusions and recommendations in IRSS’s June 1998 report, which are noted at the end of this current document.   They confirm that Sellafield’s stock of liquid high level waste represents one of the world’s most dangerous concentrations of long-lived radioactive material.   Moreover, this danger persists because nuclear fuel reprocessing continues at Sellafield, even though reprocessing is uneconomic and has other disadvantages.

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Thompson, Gordon (May 2000). Hazard Potential of the La Hague Site: An Initial Review, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Resource and Security Studies. (29 pages, 3 appendices).

This report provides an initial review of the hazard potential of COGEMA’s La Hague site.   Here, the word “hazard” refers to unplanned injury to workers or members of the public, or unplanned damage to the environment. The report summarizes operations at the La Hague site and COGEMA’s proposed changes to those operations.   Then, the report sets forth the requirements for a thorough analysis of La Hague’s hazard potential, and contrasts those requirements with the present base of information about La Hague’s hazards.   Finally, the report provides a preliminary identification of the major sources of hazard at La Hague.

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Thompson, Gordon. (15 April 1999). Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing & International Security. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Resource and Security Studies. (9 pages).

This paper is based on a presentation by Gordon Thompson to the Joint Committee on Public Enterprise and Transport, in Dublin, Ireland on April 15, 1999. The presentation challenges Ireland to respond to two, linked perils — the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the potential instability of the Russian state.  

The paper has six major parts.   First, the risks associated with nuclear fuel reprocessing are summarized and the long-standing concerns about reprocessing at the UK’s Sellafield site are mentioned. Second, the presentation reviews Ireland’s opportunities to limit reprocessing.   Third, the dangers associated with Russia’s present political and economic transition are described.   Fourth, a new opportunity is described, whereby Ireland would promote and facilitate a Grand Bargain in nuclear affairs.   This Grand Bargain would stop reprocessing and initiate a massive program of nuclear cleanup, which would help to stabilize the Russian state.   Fifth, the presentation describes the potential benefits to Ireland from promoting the Grand Bargain.   Sixth, specific actions by Ireland are recommended.

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Thompson, Gordon (February 1999). Risks and Alternative Options Associated With Spent Fuel Storage at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Resource and Security Studies. (17 pages, 5 appendices).

This report was commissioned by Orange County, North Carolina, because the licensee of the Shearon Harris nuclear plant had requested an amendment of its operating license.   The amendment would permit the activation of two currently unused spent fuel pools at Harris.  

This report examines the risks and alternative options associated with spent fuel storage at Harris.   The report identifies a potential for severe accidents at the Harris pools.   Such accidents could release to the atmosphere an amount of cesium-137 an order of magnitude larger than the release from the 1986 Chernobyl accident.   A severe accident at the Harris PWR, with containment failure or bypass, can be expected to initiate a large release from the fuel pools.   The report concludes that alternative, safer options for spent fuel management are available, including dry storage of spent fuel, which is a well-established practice.

The extensive document includes multiple appendices, figures and graphs.

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Thompson, Gordon (June 1998). High Level Radioactive Liquid Waste at Sellafield: Risks, Alternative Options and Lessons for Policy: Report on an IRSS Study. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Research and Security Studies. (27 pages, appendices forthcoming soon).

This is complete summation of the assessment of the risks and alternatives for a long-standing practice at the Sellafield site — storage of high level radioactive waste (HLW) as a liquid. The Sellafield HLW tanks represent one of the world’s most dangerous concentrations of long-lived radioactive material. Although IRSS’s work has focused on risks and alternatives for HLW management, the work has necessarily addressed some related issues.   IRSS has examined the economics of nuclear fuel reprocessing at Sellafield, the UK approach to assessing nuclear activities and alternative options, and the effectiveness of the UK Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII). A repeated theme in this report is the need for open, comprehensive assessments of issues facing the UK nuclear industry. Though a detailed, comprehensive assessment of risks and alternatives would require a considerably larger budget and much better access to information, this interim assessment is unique and provides important lessons for policy making.  

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