An interesting titbit from Enformable, going through the NRC document.
From: Bloom, Steven
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 8:04 AM
Cc: Foggie, Kirk; Emche, Danielle
Subject: NISA Request
Below is the response I have gotten from our legal staff regarding your request on legal issues related to TMI:
Strictly speaking, as far as we know, the NRC did not take any action by rule which would deem legal and justified any responsive action taken by the TMI licensee at the time of and immediately following the 1979 accident.
However, the NRC did adopt new regulations in 10 CFR 50.54(x) and (y) to ensure that licensees would be able to take timely and necessary action even though such action would be in violation of the plant’s technical specifications, license conditions or other regulatory requirements. The final rule for these provisions is 48 FR 13966 (April 1, 1983). A copy of the SOC for the final rule is attached. Our legal view is that this regulation may be applied only when the licensee action is needed to avoid imminent radiological harm the general public, i.e., in quickly emerging situations where fast action is needed to avoid radiological harm to the general public. The staff’s practice has been more lenient, however, despite OGC’s interpretation.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Steven Bloom, International Relations Specialist
International Cooperation and Assistance Branch (ICA)
The original emails (scanned) is at the Enformable site.