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NRC Proposes New Rule Expanding “Safeguards Information”

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  1. Freedom of Information
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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a new rule that expands its own version of sensitive but unclassified information that will be given protected or “safeguarded” status. The Safeguards Information (SGI) designation goes back to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and existing rules provide a “need to know” and a clearance process for the handling of information. The new rule creates a category of Safeguards Information-Modified Handling and includes information on emergency planning procedures, safety analyses, or defense capabilities. One advocacy group, OMB Watch, notes that the NRC has been criticized for not sufficiently utilizing threat assessment analysis to improve security at nuclear facilities. It says the new provision would effectively silence such criticism and prevent any discussion about improving the nuclear generator safety. (2/24/05)