Who remembers the NRC meeting where we presented them with stuffed toy dogs because they were lap dogs for the industry instead of guard dogs for the people? It seems that Senator Markey agrees with us.
This time around Senator Markey is the head of the subcommittee that supervises the NRC.
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Senator Markey Statement on U.S. Nuclear Safety Agenda on 10th Anniversary of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
Washington (March 11, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Clean Energy, Climate, and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement on the 10-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
“The ten-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster serves as a stark reminder that nuclear safety must be the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s number one priority. As Chair of the Subcommittee on Clean Energy, Climate, and Nuclear Safety on the Environment and Public Works Committee, I remain committed to fighting for policies that ensure that the U.S. nuclear industry is held to high safety and security standards.
“Following the Fukushima disaster, the NRC started the process to require plants to be better protected from seismic and flood risks, but the Republican chairman and commissioners voted to strip out these safety requirements, contradicting the lessons learned from the Fukushima meltdowns and years of NRC staff work. This unjustified, unnecessary weakening of the Mitigation of Beyond-Design-Basis Events rule is just one example of how the NRC has been prioritizing plants’ profit over the protection of the public. We need the NRC to be a nuclear watchdog, not an industry lapdog.
“I will continue to work with my colleagues and the NRC to improve the retirement and decommissioning process for nuclear plants, identify safe solutions for the storage and disposal of nuclear waste that prioritizes community consent, and maximize the effectiveness of nuclear power plant security programs, including force-on-force inspections.
“Since Fukushima, new crises have emerged: climate change has worsened extreme weather and nuclear safety concerns. Cyberattacks are becoming more frequent and powerful. Nuclear waste continues to pile up in too many of our communities. We need a strong independent regulator that will proactively address these concerns, not ignore them. I am looking forward to working with Chairman Hansen and the rest of the commission on this important agenda.”
Since 2011, Senator Markey has queried the NRC for more information on the implications for America’s domestic nuclear industry. He repeatedly urged the NRC to consider specific domestic policies to ensure increased nuclear safety and introduced legislation to require their implementation, with a specific focus on safer decommissioning policies and waste storage. He also queried the Food and Drug Administration on how the agency ensured that contaminated radioactive food or other agricultural products were prevented from entering the domestic food supply after the disaster.