"The nuclear industry has also asserted that it is far better prepared to respond to a nuclear accident than the oil industry was in responding to the blowout of BP's Macondo well. The vice president of nuclear operations for the Nuclear Energy Institute stated: "The problem with the BP event is that they didn't have a Plan B. We have, I would say, sufficient defense in depth. We have Plan B, C, D and possibly E.'
"We hope the nuclear industry's self-confidence is warranted, but we should not accept the industry's assurances without conducting our own independent evaluation of the risks posed by nuclear reactors in the United States and the preparedness of industry and regulators to respond to those risks. This is especially important given that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is actively considering license applications for new nuclear power plants, as well as renewal licenses for older existing reactors. In recent years, the NRC has approved over 60 license renewal applications, including several for plants with the same design as the endangered Japanese facilities. In fact, the NRC recently voted to renew the operating license for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, which is of the same design as some of the reactors experiencing severe problems in Japan."
On March 12, Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) issued a brief statement in response to ongoing reports about the damage to Japanese nuclear facilities after a historic earthquake and tsunami hit the country on Friday, March 11. He said, "Our first priority is the safety of the Japanese people as they assess the damage and work to recover from this terrible natural disaster, and I support the President in his effort to provide assistance to the Japanese government and its people. I understand the Nuclear Regulatory Commission technical staff have offered support to help mitigate damage to the reactors, and our experts are closely monitoring developments at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and other affected facilities. As we extend our thoughts and prayers to those affected by this historic earthquake and the damage it wrought, we will carefully continue to assess and examine the situation. The details of this tragedy are still unfolding. The head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is scheduled to testify before the Energy and Commerce Committee next week, and we will use that opportunity to explore what is known in the early aftermath of the damage to Japanese nuclear facilities, as well as to reiterate our unwavering commitment to the safety of U.S. nuclear sites."
Access the Bunn article (click here). Access the Christian Science Monitor article which contains links to related articles (click here). Access a release and the letter from Democrats (click here). Access the statement from Rep. Upton (click here). Access the latest updates on the nuclear disaster from the IAEA (click here). Access a White House press briefing on March 14 with Greg Jaczko the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (click here).
- House Republicans Reject EPA Science Findings On Climate Change
- United States v. Desnoyers
- Del-Ray Battery Company, et al v. Douglas Battery
- City of Los Angeles v. San Pedro Boat Works, et al
- American Commercial Lines LLC v. Water Quality Ins. Syndicate