The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) lowers safety standards in order to keep old nuclear power plants, such as San Onofre, operating. See timeline of recent NRC votes against safety recommendations.
The NRC planned to lower a significant safety standard that would make it easier for SoCal Edison to restart their defective San Onofre Unit 2 nuclear reactor.
Instead of their mission of “protecting people and the environment”, their priority appears to be “protecting nuclear industry profits”.
- With 90% of their over $1 billion budget coming from nuclear industry fees there is an obvious conflict of interest.
“… the NRC is required, by law, to recover about 90 percent of our budget authority directly from the industry that we regulate… The NRC received a bit more than $1 billion for FY 2012, so the amount we will recover in fees by Sept. 30 is approximately $909.5 million. We collect those fees and send the money back to the U.S. Treasury.”
“This happened June 4th, 1998. That’s the day the NRC even stopped pretending to be an aggressive regulator. The Senate Appropriations Committee was headed by former Senator Pete Domenici from New Mexico.”
There are many dedicated employees at the NRC doing the best they can under these circumstances. However, the following reports are examples of why we cannot count on the NRC to protect us.
- Allegations of safety culture issues in NRC’s Region IV and management bonuses based on agreeing with nuclear plant licensees – Rep. Edward J. Markey 10-02-2012
- Regulatory Meltdown - Four NRC Commissioners Undermine Safety – Rep. Edward J. Markey staff report 12-09-2011
- Fukushima Fallout – Regulatory Loopholes at U.S. Nuclear Plants – Rep. Edward J. Markey staff report 05-12-2011
- Lessons Learned from Fukushima – NRC Recommendations for Enhancing Reactor Safety in the 21st Century; The Near-Term Task Force Review of Insights from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Accident 07-12-2011
- Expanded NRC Questions and Answers related to the March 11, 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami 04-13-2011
- Part 1 – U.S. Nuclear Regulators Weaken Safety Rules, Fail To Enforce Them 06-20-2011
- Part 2 – Radioactive Tritium Has Leaked From Three-Quarters Of U.S. Nuclear Plants 06-21-2011
- Part 3 – U.S. Nuclear Plants’ Surrounding Populations Soar While Dangers Increase 06-27-2011
- Part 4 – NRC, Nuclear Industry Rewrite History 06-28-2011
- Aging Nuclear Plants: Undermining Public Safety — Maps and Videos June 22, 2011
- Court orders NRC to take a second look at waste storage – Brattleboro Reformer [Vermont] 2012-06-09
- David Lochbaum: “The NRC Is Not Doing Its Job” – Frontline 01/17/2012
- Nuclear Miscalculations - Why Regulators Miss Power Plant Threats from Quakes and Storms 09-13-2011
- U.S. is Increasing Nuclear Power through Uprating - LA Times 04-17-2011
- Safety Compromised for Industry Profits - Public Citizen Safety Factsheet
- Whistleblowers Say Nuclear Regulatory Commission Watchdog is Losing its Bite – ProPublica 07/27/2011
- Danger – Aging Nuclear Reactors - Center for Investigative Reporting
- Congress told NRC: stop enforcing regulations or we’ll cut your budget