Markey Wants Answers on Impacts of Climate Change, Extreme Weather on US Nuclear Power Plants

Letter to NRC asks for information on occurrences related to hurricanes, droughts, rising water temps and snowstorms

Washington (October 19, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today sent a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) asking for more information to better understand the safety and reliability concerns of nuclear power plants that may be associated with extreme weather and global warming. In the letter, Senator Markey cites recent extreme weather events that have caused partial or full shutdowns at various nuclear power plants, including in Massachusetts, Alabama, Maryland and Virginia. Senator Markey asks the NRC to provide information for the last ten years on every reactor shutdown, or power generation reduction that occurred entirely or in part due to extreme weather or global warming.


“I write to request information about how extreme weather, higher water temperatures, and the effects of climate change may impact the U.S. nuclear power industry in light of the increase in the number of plant shutdowns and other events that have occurred at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts and at other reactors across the country,” writes Senator Markey in his letter to NRC Chairman Stephen Burns. “Other extreme weather events have also threatened the safe operation of U.S. nuclear power plants, including tornado outbreaks, hurricanes, and droughts. Rising water temperatures, exacerbated by global warming, have also directly impacted nuclear power plants.”


A copy of Senator Markey’s letter to the NRC can be found HERE.