House Energy Committee tells NRC to rethink post-Fukushima nuclear regs

House Energy and Commerce Committee Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC post-Fukushima regulations

The members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee have written an open letter to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), asking the agency to move carefully in issuing a slew of new regulations concocted in response to the Fukushima incident. The members highlight key regulatory differences that existed between the US and Japan even before Fukushima - like the Japanese regulator’s failure to mandate a defense-in-depth safety strategy - that, they argue, should be considered before additional requirements are made of nuclear plant operators.

“It is in the nature of any regulatory body to issue regulations and the NRC is no exception,” the letter says. “However, more regulation is not always safer, sometimes it is just ‘more.’” The letter notes that the list of so-called “safety enhancements” requested by the NRC post-Fukushima has grown to at least 40, giving special attention to the capital intensive requirement of installing “filtered vents.”

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