Letter Text (PDF)

Washingon (March 27, 2024) - Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Mike Levin (CA-49) led a bicameral letter signed by  four senators and 14 members of the House of Representatives to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Christopher Hanson to encourage the NRC to proactively establish a new office to boost the agency’s public outreach, engagement, and participation activities.

“The NRC plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safe use of nuclear materials for electricity generation and other applications,” explains the letter. “However, while the agency recognizes the imperative of communicating clearly and providing opportunities for the public to participate in its proceedings, it often falls short of achieving these goals.

“Fortunately, the Commission has both internal and external proposals at hand to inform its approach to increasing its public engagement competencies,” continues the letter. “The NRC Office of Public Participation and Engagement (OPEP) Act (118th Congress, H.R. 4530) would ensure the public receives the information and resources it needs to participate in NRC decision-making. The legislation received favorable testimony at the July 18, 2023, hearing of the Energy Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.”