Contact: Eben Burnham-Snyder, Rep. Ed Markey, 202-225-2836

NRC’s Forum Style Thwarts Open Dialogue on Nuclear Plant Performance, Safety

WASHINGTON (March 18, 2013) – Rep. Ed Markey (D-Malden) and two of his Massachusetts colleagues today urged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to end their practice of meeting structures that restrict public dialogue when holding forums with Massachusetts and New Hampshire residents about the Pilgrim and Seabrook nuclear power plants.

The current plan by the NRC is to only allow small group or one-on-one discussions with citizens and other concerned groups, where questions and answers are shared only with those participating in each discussion, not the larger group. NRC calls this an “open house”.

Rep. Markey, along with fellow Massachusetts Democratic Reps. John Tierney and William Keating, ask the NRC in a letter today to revert to the more traditional “public meeting” style where members of the public can ask questions and receive answers at an open microphone, so all can hear. They also requested that reactor-specific information be presented and that appropriate experts be on-hand to answer questions.

The full letter to NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane is available HERE.

“We believe that NRC’s failure to conduct a public meeting to assess the 2012 performance of both Seabrook and Pilgrim would further undermine the public trust in the Commission’s ability and willingness to assure the safety of these reactors,” write the three Democrats. “We urge you to alter the format of the 'open house' meetings currently planned, and make every effort to ensure that the sort of reactor-specific information and knowledgeable personnel are included and available.”

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