Regulatory Meltdown – Four NRC Commissioners Undermine Safety

A report from Rep. Edward J. Markey’s office details a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) conspiracy to delay and weaken US nuclear safety in the wake of Fukushima. The 12/9/2011 Regulatory Meltdown report reveals efforts to improve nuclear safety are being undermined by four NRC Commissioners.

As part of his ongoing investigation into U.S. nuclear safety since the Fukushima meltdowns, Rep. Edward J. Markey’s report details how four Commissioners at the NRC colluded to prevent and then delay the work of the NRC Near-Term Task Force on Fukushima, the entity tasked with making recommendations for improvement to NRC regulations and processes after the Fukushima meltdowns, the worst nuclear disaster in history.

Documents also show open hostility on the part of the four Commissioners toward efforts of NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko to fully and quickly implement the recommendations of the Task Force, despite efforts on the part of the Chairman to keep the other four NRC Commissioners fully informed regarding the Japanese emergency.

NOTE: Rep. Darrell Issa appears to support these four Commissioners. According to this December 9, 2011 Huffington Post article

… The four pro-industry members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, along with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), launched a public assault on the panel’s chairman Friday, accusing him of mismanagement and heavy-handedness. Although the fight is framed by the commission members as personal, it is at root political and ideological, a dueling report put out Friday night by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) shows. … in early December, the four other commission members wrote a letter to White House Chief of Staff William Daley accusing Jaczko of “increasingly problematic and erratic” behavior.  The letter was made public by Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee…

Rep. Darrell Issa‘s 49th District includes the San Onofre nuclear plant – the plant with the most NRC reports of Safety Allegations.

Major findings in the Markey report include:

    • Four NRC Commissioners attempted to delay and otherwise impede the creation of the NRC Near-Term Task Force on Fukushima;
    • Four NRC Commissioners conspired, with each other and with senior NRC staff, to delay the release of and alter the NRC Near-Term Task Force report on Fukushima;
    • The other NRC Commissioners attempted to slow down or otherwise impede the adoption of the safety recommendations made by the NRC Near-Term Task Force on Fukushima;
    • NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko kept the other four NRC Commissioners fully informed regarding the Japanese emergency, despite claims to the contrary made by these Commissioners; and
    • The consideration of the Fukushima safety upgrades is not the only safety-related issue that the other NRC Commissioners have opposed.

After the Near Term Task Force released its report in July, Rep. Markey called for the rapid adoption of all recommendations, and sent letters criticizing the proposals to delay even their consideration that were put forward by Commissioners Svinicki, Magwood and Ostendorff.

Rep. Markey also introduced legislation to overhaul nuclear safety. The Nuclear Power Plant Safety Act of 2011 will impose a moratorium on all new nuclear reactor licenses or license extensions until new safety requirements are in place that reflect the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster.

Rep. Markey’s office also released the report, Fukushima Fallout: Regulator Loopholes at U.S. Nuclear Plants , detailing several concerns about NRC safety regulations following the Fukushima crisis.

Click here for more information on NRC problems.

About Donna Gilmore

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