Problems with Publications Related to the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project

EMD-77-74: Published: Jan 6, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 6, 1978.

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Twenty-seven publications related to the Clinch River Breeder Reactor project were reviewed to determine if they were promotional in nature. These publications were issued by a variety of organizations, including the Energy Research and Development Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, both now part of the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Breeder Reactor Corporation (BRC) which represents the utility industry in the joint government/industry project.

With the exception of 13 publications issued by BRC, all of the publications are technical and programmatic documents and are not propaganda. However, all 13 BRC publications are promotional in nature. At least 4 pamphlets are so oversimplified and distorted that they are clearly propaganda and are questionable for dissemination to the public. The 4 pamphlets fail to discuss complex and controversial issues and present only the advantages and none of the disadvantages of the breeder reactor and nuclear power. Even though public funds were not used for these publications, DOE should exercise some responsibility for the public's receiving balanced and objective information on these controversial issues.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should: (1) develop standards for fairness and objectivity governing the dissemination of information to the public by industry participants on joint DOE/industry projects; (2) work with BRC to develop procedures whereby DOE can review all future BRC public information efforts to ensure that they are reasonably fair and objective; and (3) to the extent possible, review all existing BRC informational material and request BRC to stop circulation of material which is not fair and objective or put a disclaimer on it to show that the material is not approved by the government.

    Agency Affected:

 

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