Log In | Contact Us
Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators Record Groups

DAARE/SAFE Collection (DeKalb/Rockford)

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Early DAARE/SAFE Records

Official Docket Filings

Other Plant Filings and Issues

Intervenor Issues Litigated in Federal Court

Contentions litigated by Rockford League of Women Voters Only

DAARE/SAFE Admitted Contentions

NRC Generated Documents Relative to Byron and Generic Notices

NRC & Edison Byron Plant Correspondence

NRC Staff and Edison generated review of documents and internal proceeding relative to Byron

Illinois Commerce Commission Filings

Braidwood Filings

Addendum 1

Addendum 2

Addendum 3

Addendum 4

Addendum 5



Contact us about this collection

DAARE/SAFE Collection (DeKalb/Rockford), 1969-2008 | Northern Illinois University

Printer-friendly Printer-friendly | Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: DAARE/SAFE Collection (DeKalb/Rockford), 1969-2008

ID: RHC/RC/212

Extent: 34.5 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

The collection is divided into thirteen series: 1) Early DAARE/SAFE Records; 2) Official Docket Filings; 3) Other Plant Filings and Issues; 4) Intervenor Issues Litigated in Federal Court; 5) Contentions Litigated by League of Women Voters Only; 6) DAARE/SAFE Admitted Contentions; 7) NRC Generated Documents Relative to Byron and Generic Notices; 8) NRC & Edison Byron Plant Correspondence; 9) NRC Staff and Edison Generated Review of Documents and Internal Proceeding Relative to Byron; 10) Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) Filings; and 11) Braidwood Filings; 12) Global Nuclear Concerns; 13) MIdwest Low Level Wast Compact

Series 6, DAARE/SAFE Admitted Contentions is divided into 6 subseries: Contention 1, Quality Assurance/Quality Control;  Contention 2, ALARA, radiation as low as reasonable achievable; Contention 3, Emergency Planning and Evacuation Surrounding Byron; Contention 6, Byron Fuel Cladding Susceptibility; Contention 8, Decontamination and Decommissioning; and Contention 9, Steam Generators.

Date Acquired: 11/18/1992. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: American National Red Cross, Byron (Ill.), Byron Nuclear Plant, Commonwealth Edison Company, Corcoran, Thomas, DeKalb (Ill.), DeKalb Area Alliance for Responsible Energy (DAARE), Energy, Illinois Commerce Commission, League of Women Voters (Rockford, Ill.), Nuclear disarmament--United States - Nuclear Freeze, Nuclear energy., Public utilities, Rockford (Ill.), Sinnissippi Alliance for the Environment (SAFE), U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The DAARE/SAFE records date from 1969 to 2008 and consists of material created, researched, and collected by the two organizations during their legal battle with Commonwealth Edison and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Staff contesting the issuing of an NRC operating license for the Byron Nuclear Plant.  The collection is divided into eleven series.

Series 1, the Early DAARE/SAFE Records, is comprised of information created and collected by the two organizations.  These records include newsletters, correspondence, press releases, and programs generated by DAARE/SAFE. Additional Materials were later added that complete this series.

The Official Docket Filings (Series 2) includes all the legal filings by each of the parties participating in the licensing proceeding:  DAARE, SAFE, the Rockford League of Women Voters, Commonwealth Edison, and the NRC Staff.  The legal process leading to the licensing decision was 1) the separate submittal by both DAARE/SAFE and the League of "issues" or contentions about Byron to litigate; 2) Motion for Summary Disposition of non-issues; 3) Responses to Motions for Summary Disposition; 4) Hearing testimony; 5) 1982 Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB) Hearing transcripts; 6) Parties Filings of Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law; 7) the ASLB's Initial Decision; 8) the appeal by Edison to the NRC ASLB Appeal Board; 9) the Appeal Boards remanding of the hearings back to the ASLB; 10) the ASLB's final decision. Additional materials were later added that complete this series.

The Other Plant Filings and Issues (Series 3) contains the  research on other nuclear plants used by the intervenors to create their case.

Series 4, Intervenor Issues Litigated in Federal Court, are the Need for Power & Financial Qualifications Contentions.  This series contains filings, exhibits, correspondence and briefs filed in federal court by Business and Professionals in the Public Interest (BPI), challenging the NRC Commissions deletion of regulations requiring utilities to demonstrate capacity in both issues before licensing. Additional Materials were later added that complete this series.

The Contentions Litigated by Rockford League of Women Voters Only (Series 5) consists of three contentions: liquid pathways; sabotage; and seismic.

Series 6, DAARE/SAFE Admitted Contentions is divided into six subseries: Contention 1, Quality Assurance/Quality Control;  Contention 2, ALARA, radiation as low as reasonable achievable; Contention 3, Emergency Planning and Evacuation Surrounding Byron; Contention 6, Byron Fuel Cladding Susceptibility; Contention 8, Decontamination and Decommissioning; and Contention 9, Steam Generators.  The Steam generator contention is divided into 9a, the waterhammer problem in piping and 9c, the tube vibration problem. Additional documents related to citizen intervention in the licensing hearings for the Byron Nuclear Power Plant, primarily the citizen groups criticism of the emergency plants for the plant in addendum, were later added to Subseries C.

The NRC Generated Documents Relative to Byron and Generic Notices (Series 7) includes Byron ASLB Board and NRC Commission notifications, press releases, and the reports and bulletins from the Office of Inspections and Enforcement (I&E) Reports.  The I&E Reports deal specifically with the Byron Plant while the I&E Bulletins are generic notifications from the NRC to all utilities.

Series 8, NRC & Edison Byron Plant Correspondence, is the correspondence between the NRC & Commonwealth Edison on the Byron Nuclear Plant.

The NRC Staff and Edison Generated Review of Documents and Internal Proceeding Relative to Byron (Series 9) consists of technical documents filed by Commonwealth Edison and reviewed by the NRC Staff before the final approval of an operating license can be granted.  These documents include the Safety Evaluation Reports (SER), Final Environmental Statements (FES), and Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR).

Series 10, Illinois Commerce Commission, includes the filings from the ICC concerning the Byron Plant.

Series 11, Braidwood Filings, is comprised of documents pertaining to the licensing proceeding for the Braidwood Plant, Units 1 & 2, Byron's sister plant in Braidwood, Illinois. Series 12, added at a later date, Global Nuclear Concerns, is comprised mostly of newspaper articles pertaining to national and international nuclear topics. The series is further divided into subseries. Subseries A contains newspaper articles on nuclear power plants throughout the United States and are organized by state. Subseries B is comprised of newspaper articles on nuclear weaponry, while subseries C includes articles on nuclear and hazardous waste accidents, including the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Documents on anti-nuclear protests comprise subseries D. Subseries E includes newsletters and correspondence from various anti-nuclear and environmental activist groups. 

Documents pertaining to the Midwest Low Level Waste Compact comprise series 13, also added at a later date. The first subseries contains document related to the compact, including statements, amendments, and hearings, as well as newspapers and correspondence with government officials during the time period. Subseries B is comprised of reports and publications on low level waste, while subseries C contains newspaper articles on waste disposal and management. Subseries D includes articles on waste sites throughout the United States, and are organized by state. Newspaper articles and reports on the environmental effects of hazardous waste comprise subseries E.

Collection Historical Note

"DAARE and SAFE are consensus organizations actively opposed to the use of nuclear power in all its forms and which support PEACE, ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, and ENERGY CONSERVATION."  

In January 1978, the DeKalb Area Alliance for Responsible Energy (DAARE) and the Sinnissippi Alliance for the Environment (SAFE) filed formal petitions with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requesting public hearings on NRC plans to issue an operating license for the Byron Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 &  2, to Commonwealth Edison.  At the time local citizens residing near a plant had the regulatory right to request an NRC hearing to litigate issues which they could maintain with reasonable specificity would affect their health and safety if the plant went into operation.  In August 1979, both DAARE and SAFE were granted "intervenor" status and participated jointly in the NRC proceeding as one intervenor, "DAARE/SAFE".  The Rockford League of Women Voters also requested and was granted separate intervenor status.  

Ten contentions were submitted by DAARE/SAFE for litigation.  The ten contentions were: 1) Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) - the assertion that the Byron plant was poorly designed and constructed by Commonwealth Edison and contractors; 2) "As Low As Reasonably Achievable" (ALARA) Radiation- maintaining that the large number (13) of planned and operating nuclear power plants in Northern Illinois would expose the surrounding population to excessive radiation; 3) Emergency Planning - that there was inadequate emergency and evacuation planning for the 50 mile "ingestion zone" around the Byron Plant that the NRC believes might receive excessive radiation in the event of a plant accident; 4) Probability Risk Assessment - that NRC regulations fail to require the nuclear industry to calculate and protect against the chances  of "multiple, mutually independent failures" occurring in more than one plant system at a time such as occurred at Three Mile Island (TMI); 5) Excess Capacity - that Commonwealth Edison already maintains an abundance of excess electrical generating capacity in Northern Illinois and that the Byron plant was not needed; 6) Decommissioning - Commonwealth Edison lacked the means and money to decommission and decontaminate Byron after the plant's official 30-year lifespan; 7) Fuel Cladding - evidence that the fuel cladding element used in the Byron reactor fuel rods will become brittle and susceptible to failure; 8) Hydrogen Explosion - the Byron plant lacked sufficient safeguards against hydrogen explosions such as at TMI; 9) Steam Generator Inadequacies - the steam generators (heat exchangers for the reactor) used at Byron were experimental Westinghouse Corp. models with two deficiencies that could result in inadequate core cooling:  waterhammer in piping and excessive tube vibration; and 10) a generic contention - a list of six unresolved deficiencies applicable to all Westinghouse designed nuclear power plants.  

In its separate intervention, the Rockford League of Women Voters submitted 142 contentions for litigation.  The League was represented at the time by attorney Myron Cherry, of the Chicago private law firm Cherry & Flynn.  

The NRC Commission assigned a panel of three NRC members (one attorney and two technical experts) to comprise the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) empowered to hear evidence and render a decision on the operating license for the Byron plant.  In 1979, the ASLB established a timetable for discovery leading to official hearings.  Discovery between the official parties: intervenors, NRC Staff, and Commonwealth Edison began and extended until 1983.  In October 1981, Commonwealth Edison petitioned the ASLB to impose sanctions against both intervenors for failure to respond to interrogatories.  The ASLB expelled the League from the proceeding because of the failure of it's counsel to respond.  DAARE/SAFE was not expelled by the ASLB because while representing itself "pro se", it was attempting to comply with discovery.  

The League filed an appeal of its expulsion to an appeal board of the ASLB, and was finally re-admitted under new counsel in June 1982.  

Meanwhile, DAARE/SAFE proceeded through discovery and Motions for Summary Disposition with its ten contentions.  Of those ten, the QA/QC, ALARA, Emergency Planning, and Steam Generator contentions survived as issues to be litigated.  The rest of the contentions were not litigated because of financial and technical constraints.  As citizen groups neither DAARE nor SAFE had any funding sources other than voluntary member contributions.  Approximately $7,000 was raised for the intervention effort, but DAARE/SAFE could neither afford legal counsel nor research or witness outlays.  

In 1981 DAARE/SAFE obtained free legal counsel from Business and Professionals in the Public Interest (BPI), a Chicago public interest law firm to represent both it and the League in challenging an NRC regulatory change on the issues of "Need for Power" and "Financial Qualifications".  The issues were first entered before the Byron ASLB but quickly moved to federal court.  From that experience, BPI was recruited to represent both DAARE/SAFE and the League on QA/QC, a contention issue shared by both groups.  

Upon it's re-admittance to the proceeding, the League's contentions were consolidated into five issues:  QA/QC, Steam Generators, Seismic, Sabotage, and Liquid Pathways.  All except the liquid pathways contention proceeded to litigations by agreement of the parties.  The League obtained separate representation from attorney David Thomas of the Chicago Kent College of Law upon the Steam Generator contention.  

Hearings upon the contentions took place in federal court in Rockford, Illinois, beginning March 1, 1983.  The hearings began with Limited Appearances by members of the public and extended into evidentiary testimony before the ASLB.  According to the ASLB's dictate, the intervenors were joined in litigation of common issues and a "Lead Intervenor" was designated per issue.  DAARE/SAFE was lead intervenor on the QA/QC contention with representation by Jane Whicher from BPI.  The League was lead intervenor on the Steam Generator contention regarding tube vibration.  DAARE/SAFE maintained its separate waterhammer issue.  

DAARE/SAFE was also designated lead intervenor on the Emergency Planning contention, and obtained limited free legal counsel from Rockford attorney, Bryan Savage.  Shortly before the hearings started it was stipulated between all parties that the issue would be excluded from hearing and resolved "privately" over a designated time period.  Commonwealth Edison and the State of Illinois Department of Emergency Services and Disaster Agency (ESDA) promised to rectify glaring "short comings" in the Byron emergency and evacuation planning.  The ASLB retained jurisdiction over the issue in the event the parties failed.  Resolution of the issue outside of court continued until 1986.  

The hearings continued before the ASLB throughout 1983. They were well attended and generated much media attention regionally.  During the course of the hearing, a lawsuit was filed by the Rockford Register Star newspaper in response to the ASLB holding session "in camera" on sensitive QA/QC testimony.  

On January 13, 1984, the ASLB issued a decision ruling in favor of Commonwealth Edison on all issues except QA/QC and denying it an operating license for the Byron plant.  This was an historical decision-the first time any NRC ASLB had denied an utility a license to operate a nuclear power plant.  The decision generated national media attention and was regarded as a serious blow to the nuclear industry as a whole and the viability of continuing to construct nuclear power plants.  The ASLB basically concluded that Commonwealth Edison had failed to demonstrate that the Byron plant was constructed safely due to the inadequate QA/QC program it followed throughout plant construction.  

Commonwealth Edison immediately appealed the decision to the ASLB Appeal Board and generated a "reinspection program" at the Byron plant, a direct and statistical reinspection and analysis of all construction inspection activities at the plant since construction.  Edison also hired expert firms to analyze inspection records and personnel certifications.  Most of this activity was not direct verification of construction adequacy since most plant construction was built-over and not available to direct inspection.  However, Edison used this basis to request that the ASLB decision be remanded for re-hearing.  

The ASLB Appeal Board remanded the decision back to the Byron ASLB and after extended hearings, the ASLB on October 16, 1984, issued final decision in favor of Commonwealth Edison and awarded it an operating license for the Byron units.

Subject/Index Terms

American National Red Cross
Byron (Ill.)
Byron Nuclear Plant
Commonwealth Edison Company
Corcoran, Thomas
DeKalb (Ill.)
DeKalb Area Alliance for Responsible Energy (DAARE)
Energy
Illinois Commerce Commission
League of Women Voters (Rockford, Ill.)
Nuclear disarmament--United States - Nuclear Freeze
Nuclear energy.
Public utilities
Rockford (Ill.)
Sinnissippi Alliance for the Environment (SAFE)
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Accruals: Addenda to the records were added at later dates by Stanley Campbell.

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Diane Chavez

Acquisition Method: Diane Chavez, Intervention Coordinator for DeKalb Area Alliance for Responsible Energy (DAARE)/Sinnissippi Alliance for the Environment (SAFE), donated the DAARE/SAFE records to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on November 18, 1992.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Early DAARE/SAFE Records],
[Series II.: Official Docket Filings],
[Series III.: Other Plant Filings and Issues],
[Series IV.: Intervenor Issues Litigated in Federal Court],
[Series V.: Contentions litigated by Rockford League of Women Voters Only],
[Series VI.: DAARE/SAFE Admitted Contentions],
[Series VII.: NRC Generated Documents Relative to Byron and Generic Notices],
[Series VIII.: NRC & Edison Byron Plant Correspondence],
[Series IX.: NRC Staff and Edison generated review of documents and internal proceeding relative to Byron],
[Series X.: Illinois Commerce Commission Filings],
[Series XI.: Braidwood Filings],
[Addendum 1],
[Addendum 2],
[Addendum 3],
[Addendum 4],
[Addendum 5],
[All]

Series V.: Contentions litigated by Rockford League of Women Voters Only
Box 4
Folder 18: Liquid pathways contention, hearing and transcripts, 1983
Folder 19: Sabotage contention testimony, 1977, no date
Folder 20: Seismic contention, 1983

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Early DAARE/SAFE Records],
[Series II.: Official Docket Filings],
[Series III.: Other Plant Filings and Issues],
[Series IV.: Intervenor Issues Litigated in Federal Court],
[Series V.: Contentions litigated by Rockford League of Women Voters Only],
[Series VI.: DAARE/SAFE Admitted Contentions],
[Series VII.: NRC Generated Documents Relative to Byron and Generic Notices],
[Series VIII.: NRC & Edison Byron Plant Correspondence],
[Series IX.: NRC Staff and Edison generated review of documents and internal proceeding relative to Byron],
[Series X.: Illinois Commerce Commission Filings],
[Series XI.: Braidwood Filings],
[Addendum 1],
[Addendum 2],
[Addendum 3],
[Addendum 4],
[Addendum 5],
[All]


Page Generated in: 0.255 seconds (using 332 queries).
Using 7.04MB of memory. (Peak of 7.33MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21
Copyright ©2011 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign