NRC Kabuki Gets Senate Curtain Call

Many of us who have been following the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi have also been paying attention to what the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been doing to respond. A preliminary report was released last year highlighting the weaknesses in U.S. nuclear plants identified by the events at Fukushima.

Yet when NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko tried to spur action in the form of new regulations related to risks from earthquakes, flooding, lousy designs, lousier engineering, corner-cutting and negligent-to-nonexistent maintenance, the other four industry-connected commissioners staged a coup d’etat and took their war with Jaczko to the U.S. Congress.

 

It was a staged bureaucratic lynching, but it didn’t manage to “get rid of” Obama’s appointed Chairman. It was, however, effective in stalling any new regulations, which was the point. This has allowed the industry to avoid spending any significant money to ensure the next nuclear disaster doesn’t result in dead zones and permanently displaced populations right here in the “Homeland.”

Last December’s Kabuki act quickly faded into the holiday season, all things nuclear went back to Business As Usual.

No new regulations, 2 new licenses – the first issued in decades – several more rubber-stamp 20-year extensions for aging rustbuckets, and no necessary steps taken by the nuclear industry to address the identified weaknesses of those rusty old nukes.

Jaczko’s still the NRC Chairman, his votes to uphold the commission’s public safety mandate routinely overridden by the industry protection squad majority.

 

Turmoil at U.S. nuclear regulator spills into Congress

WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) – A toxic internal battle that has scarred the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission as it works on historic reforms now threatens to hold up the work of the U.S. Senate as leaders spar over an opening on the five-member panel.

 

Seems the Republican Senate leadership wants President Obama to renominate the only female member of the commission, Kristine Svinicki, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants her O-U-T. Politico reports this afternoon that Obama will comply and renominate Svinicki, but no word on when Reid might bring the nomination to the floor.

Continued on Page 2…

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About author
Joy Thompson is a featured author at Enformable, and has written multiple books on radiation and health with her husband Randall. Joy is a former nuclear health physicist in the nuclear industry. Her husband Randall also served in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine program and went on to work in the nuclear industry, and both Joy and Randall served at Three Mile Island.
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7 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. enewstom@hshmail.com'

    There are only 2 strategies that will work to get this country off of nuclear energy:

    1. Vote in anti-nuclear politicians

    2. Vote in NRC Commissioners who are safety-minded until we’re weaned off of nuclear energy.

    At least Jaczko voted FOR the Fukushima Task Force recommendations and voted AGAINST licensing NEW nuclear power plants.

    Here are some politicians who have taken anti-nuclear stances. We need to support them:

    Jill Stein – running for President
    Senator Bernie Sanders, Vermont, Independent
    Rep. Markey, Massachusetts, Democrat
    Governor Cuomo, New York, Democrat
    Senator Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey, Democrat

    Here are some VERY pro-nuclear politicians. If you live in their district, find out when they’re up for re-election and vote them out:

    Rep. James Clyburn, South Carolina, Democrat
    Senator Lindsay Graham, South Carolina, Republican
    Rep. John Dingall, Michigan, Democrat
    Rep. Henry Waxman, California, Democrat
    Senator Richard Burr, North Carolina, Republican
    Rep. Mike McIntyre, North Carolina, Democrat
    Senator Amy Klobucher, Minnesota, Democrat
    Senator Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, Republican
    Senator Tom Carper, Delaware, Democrat
    Senator Mary Landrieu, Lousiana, Democrat
    Senator Jim Webb, Virginia, Democrat
    Senator George Voinovich, Ohio, Republican
    Senator Mike Crapo, Idaho, Republican
    Senator Jeff Sessions, Alabama, Republican
    Senator Lamar Alexander, Tennessee, Republican
    Senator James Inhofe, Oklahoma, Republican

    • captddd@hotmail.com'

      Great Post Thanks!
      I agree, until folks do more than Blog we will continue to have more not less Nuclear, unless there is yet another Fukushima!

  2. captddd@hotmail.com'

    Senator Reid calls out a NRC denomination:

    Obama Defies Reid On Key Appointment [UPDATE]
    http://is.gd/oYy5av
    snip
    WASHINGTON — A GOP nominee to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission “lied to Congress” and “disqualified herself” from a second term, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday. Reid’s blunt opposition to the Republican pick is part of a longer battle over the direction of the agency that regulates nuclear power — an aggressive step that has infuriated his counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

  3. captddd@hotmail.com'

    The nuclear Industry understands that unless they have a place to hide their WASTE far from the people that live near these reactors, they will face increasing opposition to the reactors remaining in operation!

    The problems with the massive amount of Spent Fuel Rods being stored in the Fukushima Complex are now cause for Global concern because if SFP#4 collapses for any reason their will be GLOBAL radioactive pollution unlike anything man has seen or said another way, a Hydro-Corium Radioactive Steam “event” that will continue to spew radioactivity “forever”…

    The above information is gradually becoming known and is even now being mentioned and or discussed on MSM: http://is.gd/MPKSZX

    So what to do about it ?:

    low cost solution to America’s “long term” radioactive waste storage problem:

    Make use of our Military Testing Bases and or our MOA’s (Military Operation Area’s) out west, which are really huge tracts of land (think tens of thousands of acres) used ONLY by the military and already secured by them 24/7!

    Placing these very large (heavy) concrete casks in a poke-a-dot pattern will allow for at least 50 to 100 years of storage, safe from everything except a War, (in which case every reactor is just as vulnerable) and then revisit the storage problem then; at which time, probably a future solution will allow for an even better lower cost “final solution”…

    Because these casks would be very large and all look alike nobody would know what was in any one of them, which would be yet another level of security for the casks with higher levels of nuclear waste! An ideal outside coating for these casks would be similar to the spray-on “bed liner” used for pickup trucks that not only prevents rusting and or damage for the life of the vehicle but would also seal the casks to prevent leakage of any kind!

    Hopefully these casts would be similar in size to a large shipping container so that existing material handling equipment could be used to load, unload and or move them about without “inventing” a mega hauler vehicle. By keeping the “footprint” of these casks similar to a large 40 foot container, the stacking and or placement of them might also be semi or fully automated which would not only save money but again keep the exact location of any specific cast secret! The monitoring of these casks 24/7/365 could even be done via satellite since these casks are similar in size to rocket launchers which are easily seen from space.

    In another 50 to 100 years, storage technology will be such that, yet another lower cost solution for all this waste will found, and then it can be considered verses continuing to using the above storage plan… Perhaps like lifting it all into space via a space elevator and then shoving it in an orbit into the SUN…

    BTW: The Space Elevator (which I have heard the Japanese are now working on) would make lifting heavy items into orbit both safe and cheap…

  4. alrmclock@hsmail.com'

    Exclusive new interview with Arnie Gundersen by Libbe HaLevy of nuclearhotseat.com !

    Plus it discusses the NRC Commissioner situation:

    http://www.nuclearhotseat.com/nuclear-hotseat-45-arnie-gundersen-on-san-onofre-exclusive/

  5. Llewis.usa@gmail.com'

    As a geologist, I am familiar with the complex structural geology of that area. I am surprised that Yucca Mountain was ever seriously considered, and even more surprised that began costly work on the project before addressing all of the possible concerns.

  6. richardperrycolumbia@shaw.ca'

    When the next big nuclear accident happens in the next 5 years, we will have to hold all responsible for going ahead, with them knowing the plants are vulnerable they shall face the courts. They all have the information at hand and cannot denied it so have to be responsible for all that happens from now on.

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