Markey Queries NRC About Unescorted Access to U.S. Nuclear Power Plants for Chinese Personnel
Documents indicate NRC was aware that Chinese personnel met unescorted access requirements
Washington (June 16, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today queried the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about a “job shadow” program with Westinghouse that placed dozens of Chinese personnel at U.S. nuclear reactors at the same time at which several members of the Chinese military who were recently indicted by the Department of Justice were allegedly engaged in hacking of Westinghouse and other U.S. companies’ systems to steal trade secrets. At a June 4 EPW Committee hearing, NRC Commissioner George Apostolakis testified that NRC regulations did not allow for such unescorted access. However, a Westinghouse document obtained by Senator Markey’s office indicates that the NRC was told that Chinese nationals participating in the job shadow program “will meet unescorted access requirements” before their arrival in the U.S. Senator Markey is asking the NRC to correct the Committee hearing record in writing and respond to other questions about how the Chinese personnel were found to have met the criminal and other background checks required by NRC regulations.
Earlier this month, Senator Markey sent a letter to the NRC requesting any and all documents related to this “job shadow” program.
“While the specific actions that might have been taken by the Chinese participants while they were in the U.S. as part of the ‘job shadow’ program may be under investigation by the Department of Justice, the NRC has responsibility for examining the adequacy of its regulations when circumstances may reveal weaknesses therein,” writes Senator Markey in the letter to NRC Chairman Alison Macfarlane. “NRC also has a responsibility to provide accurate information to Congress.”
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter to the NRC can be found HERE.