May 29, 2014
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has again sided with the nuclear power industry (where have you heard that one before?) and rejected efforts by environmental/clean energy groups and five U.S. Senators to move high-level radioactive waste out of dangerous and overcrowded fuel pools as soon as it is cool enough to be placed in dry casks.
Not only did the NRC Commissioners take this unconscionable vote, they said this was their last word on the subject and they would refuse to ever again consider the issue.
But the vote wasn’t unanimous: NRC Chair Allison Macfarlane, who has spent her career studying radioactive waste issues, issued a strong dissent to the decision, essentially arguing that the NRC staff hasn’t done its homework.
In another 4 to 1 vote against Macfarlane, the Commission decided not to implement their own Fukushima Lessons Learned Task Force recommendation to filter the vents (!) on known-inadequate Mark 1 reactor containments..
Now, President Obama is in a position to act to fundamentally change the NRC and support his chosen chair. Two Commission seats–both held by Democrats and thus can be replaced by Democrats–are up this year.
President Obama can and must appoint strong nuclear safety advocates to fill these seats. And, as this vote makes clear, to support his chosen NRC chair Macfarlane, he must use this opportunity to appoint such advocates to the NRC. Otherwise, he will be simply hanging her out to dry.
Please act now: Tell President Obama here to appoint two new strong nuclear safety advocates as Commissioners to the NRC now.