Charlotte airport would not be ‘new.’” Id., slip op. at 77. The ASLB’s reasoning misses the point with respect to what is “new” in the contention. What is “new” is not the relative locations of the McGuire plant and the Charlotte airport, but the potential to use airplanes as weapons against the McGuire plant. The proximity of the McGuire plant to the airport must be seen in the new light of changed circumstances in the post-September 11 world.
D. NIRS’s Contention Is Admissible Because It Raises New Information
and Changed Circumstances That Have a Significant Effect on the
Environmental Impacts of the McGuire and Catawba License Renewals.
NIRS submits that significant new information and changed circumstances have developed which shows that the threat of sabotage or terrorism against the McGuire and Catawba nuclear plant is credible and potentially lethal. These facts are not in dispute; in fact, they consist of well-known events and statements by the NRC and other federal government agencies, of which the Commission make take notice.
1.The Commission must take into account new information regarding threat of acts of malice or insanity.
For at least 15 years, the NRC has adhered to a policy of refusing to consider the risks of sabotage or terrorism in EIS’s, on the ground that it could not quantify their probability. While that rationale was never logically defensible, it has now been completely discredited by recent events. The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and subsequent alerts issued by the federal government have provided overwhelming evidence that the threat of terrorism is real and lethal. In its February 25, 2002, Order to all nuclear power plant licensees, including Duke Power, the NRC itself has characterized the current state of nuclear security as a “generalized high-level threat environment.” Even as long as eight years ago, in its vehicle bomb rulemaking, the Commission recognized that it could no longer ignore