March 17th, 2011 – What you ask for, isn’t always what you get – How the NRC internally communicates about the Freedom of Information Act

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From:Leeds, Eric
To:Williamson. Eblward
Cc:Meinhan. Sean; Craver. Patti; Grobe. Jack; Boner. Bruce
Subject:FOIA Request
Date:Thursday, March 17, 2011 3:30:07 PM

Ed –
NRR has received a FOIA request from the AP requesting all emails and internal communications with regard to the Japanese event. This will take each staff members hours for response, at a time where we are already stretched thin to support the OP Center, Japan, etc, etc.

Any advice on how to proceed. Is there an OGC POC we can work with on this? Our POC is Sean

As always, thanks for your help!
Eric J. Leeds, Director
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

From: Zorn, Jason
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 3:55 PM
To: Franovich, Mike; Ostendorff, William; Nieh, Ho; Warnick, Greg; Kock, Andrea
Cc: Herr, Linda; Bozin, Sunny
Subject: FW: FOIAs 11-0118, 119,120,and 121

FYI. More info on the FOIAa.

From: Champ, Billie
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 3:22 PM
To: Clark, Lisa; Reddick, Darani; Davis, Roger; Bupp, Margaret; Zorn, Jason
Cc: Mike, Linda; Hart, Ken
Subject: FOIAs 11-0118, 119,120,and 121

Note received from the FOIA Branch….FYI
Good afternoon.

I wanted to inform you of the following with regard to the FOIA requests from the Associated Press on Japan:
1. A reminder that these requests cover records from March 1 1 th thru March 1 6 th only (the date the NRC received the FOIA requests.
2. FYI, the requester is not willing to narrow the scope of the requests.
3. NRR will be providing all the OPE daily event emails from March 11-16, 2011. You do not need to provide these emails.
4. You do not need to provide e-mails and other records relating to who at the NRC is available to travel to Japan and other administrative travel documents.
5. Please let me know ASAP if other offices should have been assigned FOIA’s 2011-00118, 119 and 120. The assignments were made to EDO, NSIR, IP, PA and SECY for 2011-0118 and 120. Assignments were made to EDO, NSIR, NRR, IP, PA, RES and SECY for 2011-0119.

Good afternoon,

It is requested that these FOIAs be expedited. For your information, the Office of the Secretary did not identify any documents subject to these requests.

From: Zorn, Jason
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 2:59 PM
To: Ostendorff, William; Franovich, Mike; Warnick, Greg; Nieh, Ho; Kock, Andrea
Cc: Herr, Linda; Bozin, Sunny
Subject: Recent FOIA Requests


As you probably heard me discuss, we received a number of FOIA requests last week related to the Japan event. I will warn you at the outset that requestors (the Associated Press) have requested an “expedited” review, and secondly, that the request appears to be extensive and could be burdensome for some of you to produce emails on this subject. We have been asked to provide a response by March 24th – this Thursday.

There are 4 requests:
1. All documents created between March 11, 2011, and March 16, 2011 (including emails) referencing the words “Vogtle and Japan” or “Summer and Japan.”

2. Communications from March 11,2011, to March 16, 2011, between the NRC and DOE, GE Energy and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy pertaining to the Japanese nuclear incident.

3. “Internal” NRC communications from March 11, 2011, to March 16, 2011, between the Chairman, the 4 Commissioners, their staffs, the Office of Public Affairs, and staff offices such as NRR, NSIR, and the Ops Center pertaining to the Japanese nuclear incident.

In my view, this only includes communications that go to or originate from outside of this office, not communications internal to this office. For example, emails from Mike with his summary of the daily meetings to the Commissioner and others would not be included. But, if anyone has communicated to others outside of the office by email, that would be included.

4. Communications between the NRC and “g6vernment counterparts” in Japan pertaining to the Japanese nuclear incident. This is specified to communications between the Commission or their staffs.

Please remember that this is an initial scoping review to identify documents. It may be that a FOIA exception applies to the document, so it would be identified to the requestor, but still withheld. I will bring this up for discussion at tomorrow’s morning meeting so we can get some alignment, and I can also provide copies of the original request if you need further clarification.


From: Purciarello, Gerard
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:37 AM
To: Davidson, Evan
Subject: RE: FOIA response


From: Davidson, Evan
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:26 AM
To: Purciarello, Gerard
Subject: FOIA response

Hi Jerry,
Attached are the only items in my Sent folder talking about the Japan incident. I had already emptied my Deleted Items folder.


From: Titus, Brett lr\
Sent: Thursday, Mrcth i3201,1 2:10 PM
To: Titus, Brett; Balarabe, Sarah; Weaver, Tonna; Bahadur, Sher; Ruland, William; Bailey,
Stewart; Casto, Greg; Clifford, Paul; Collins, Timothy; Dennig, Robert; Mendiola, Anthony;
Ulses, Anthony
Subject: RE: ACTION: FOIA 2011-0147

I have created folders on the G-drive to help this process go more smoothly. Please have your staff create sub-folders with their last names under your branch folders. This will tell us who has/hasn’t responded, and it will also alleviate the issue associated with duplicate names for emails. They may also create sub-folders within their sub-folders, if that is helpful… e.g. “Titus Sent” within the “Titus” folder. The path is G:\ADES\DSS\FOIA 2011-0147

Let me know if you have any questions.

Brett Titus

From: Titus, Brett
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:45 PM
To: Balarabe, Sarah; Weaver, Tonna; Bahadur, Sher; Ruland, William; Bailey, Stewart; Casto, Greg; Clifford, Paul; Collins,
Timothy; Dennig, Robert; Mendiola, Anthony; Ulses, Anthony
Subject: FW: ACTION: FOIA 2011-0147
Importance: High

Please see the FOIA request below.

In theory, the previous FOIA from the Associated Press overlapped this one up until March 16 th, so you should
only have to focus on items between the 16th and the 2 4th.
Note the due date is April 12.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Brett Titus

From: Craver, Patti ~
Sent: Thursday, Marchh 35, 20 11122:16 PM
To: Titus, Brett; Cusumano, Victor; Roquecruz, Carla; Scales, Kerby; Cartwright, William; Meighan, Sean; Heida, Bruce;
Nguyen, Quynh; Wertz, Trent
Cc: Ruland, William; Lubinski, John; Hiland, Patrick; Cheok, Michael; Nelson, Robert; Westreich, Barry; Leeds, Eric;
Craver, Patti
Subject: ACTION: FOIA 2011-0147
Importance: High

Good Afternoon,

NRR along with NMSS, NRO, EDO, NSIR, OCA, OIP, OPA, RES, SECY and the Regions have been assigned this FOIA request from Greenpeace seeking records regarding the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, including but not limited to any and all information on the status of the damage to reactors and spent fuel pools at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and the resulting release of radiation.

This request covers all records relating to the ongoing Nuclear crisis in Japan from March 1 1 th thru March 24, 2011. You do not need to produce records that are covered by previous FOIA requests.

This request has been granted a fee waiver. Therefore, NO estimates are required.

Please provide me your response by April 12, 2011. I will type up the appendices, so you just need to provide me your records and let me know what can be released and what needs to be withheld. Harm statements will be needed if the reason to withhold is not obvious.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Charge your time to TAC ZF0001.
Thanks so much,

Patti Craver
FOIA Coordinator
Infrastructure Services Branch
Program Management, Policy Development
and Analysis Staff
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
(301) 415-1513
Patti. craver(,nrc..ov

From: Zorn, Jason
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2011 2:11 PM
To: Champ, Billie
Cc: Reddick, Darani; Bupp, Margaret; Davis, Roger; Clark, Lisa
Subject: FOIA 11-147

Billie – Quick question on the latest FOIA from Greenpeace on ” any and all documentation regarding the on going nuclear crisis in Japan.” Should we treat this the same way as other similar FOIAs, in that the staff is expected to provide copies of documents and other emails that were sent to the Commission? Thanks. —


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