NRC shuts down Web site
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Oct 16, 2001
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission shut down its Web site last week to review
the information it contained and remove anything that could aid in possible
"Basically, the agency is performing a review of the material on there
to take a look at what information could be of help to our adversaries,"
NRC spokeswoman Rosetta Virgilio said. "There are a number of agencies and
organizations taking a look at their information that was once considered
in our society to be publicly available that you could get from just
about anywhere. But we're rethinking that in light of what happened on 9/11."
NRC is not the only government entity to remove information from its
Web site. The Transportation Department, the Environmental Protection Agency
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have taken similar measures
in the past few weeks, but NRC is the only one to take its site completely
None of the links on www.nrc.gov are active, and
visitors see only a message that says: "Our site is not operational at this
time. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has taken the action to shut down
its Web site. In support of our mission to protect public health and safety,
we are performing a review of all material on our site. We appreciate your
patience and understanding during these difficult times."
Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in
Washington, D.C., immediately condemned NRC's decision and called it an
Tyson Slocum, research director of Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy
and Environment Program, said it is prudent for agencies to review the sensitive
information they post online, but "NRC's decision to remove all information
on their Web site is an overreaction that does more harm than good. If nuclear
power plants are such dangerous targets, perhaps we should be shutting down
the reactors, not the Web site that provides non-objectionable information
to the public."
Virgilio said the review is ongoing and continued throughout the past
weekend, but there is no timetable for when the site will be back online.
"I hope it's soon because we use it, too," she said.