Morning Security Brief: Nuclear Plants, Food Safety, Criminal Sentencing, and More

By Sherry Harowitz


ProPublica highlights an Associated Press report about how “Officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission repeatedly weakened safety standards or decided not to enforce them in order to keep aging nuclear reactors in compliance....” The AP writes that "Examples abound." For instance, "When valves leaked, more leakage was allowed — up to 20 times the original limit." The result is "Rising fears that these accommodations by the NRC are significantly undermining safety," it notes.

► The U.S. Food and Drug Administration unveiled a new strategy to meet the challenges posed by rapidly rising imports of FDA-regulated products and a complex global supply chain in a report called the "Pathway to Global Product Safety and Quality." It notes that “The FDA is also broadening its food safety efforts under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).” For example, “the FDA will establish a program for qualified third parties to certify that foreign food facilities are in compliance with U.S. requirements....”

► British Prime Minister David Cameron is backing away from a proposed plan to allow persons who plead guilty to criminal charges in the U.K. to get their sentences reduced by as much as 50 percent, reports the BBC. The proposal was to be part of a sentencing reform package that includes proposals to make “squatting” in other people’s properties a crime and to make it clear that homeowners and shopkeepers will not be prosecuted for using reasonable force to defend themselves or their property. Cameron also is said to be reviewing the practice of holding persons held for “public protection” indefinitely with no defined right to be released.

► The Crime Report writes about the U.S. Justice Department's new crime solutions Web site to help the public judge the effectiveness of state and local anticrime programs.


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