Energy and Commerce leaders ask NRC chairman to explain his votes against new nuclear

House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders said they are seeking answers from Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko regarding his recent votes opposing the construction and licensing of the nation's first nuclear reactors in three decades.

Jaczko was the lone dissenting vote opposing the new nuclear reactors at SCANA’s V.C. Summer plant in South Carolina and the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia. In both instances, Jaczko opposed the new reactors. The House Energy and Commerce Committee said the new reactors will provide Americans with clean, reliable power and thousands of jobs.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) wrote to Chairman Jaczko on April 19 asking him to clarify his opposition to nuclear power.

In a National Journal story, Jaczcko suggested he opposed the new reactors because he did not believe NRC could properly enforce new post-Fukushima requirements for the new reactors. Upton, Whitfield, and Shimkus disputed this notion, writing, “It also implies that the NRC does not have the authority to impose regulatory changes after a license is issued.  Yet, the NRC issued Fukushima-related safety enhancements on March 12, 2012, to the licensees currently operating the 104 reactors here in the United States. The analogy you provided to National Journal does not comport with NRC actions and does a disservice to the public by suggesting the NRC is unable to enforce compliance with safety requirements.”

To read a full copy of the letter, please click here

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