Sept. 8, 2011: Congress to NRC: Adopt Fukushima Task Force Recommendations Immediately

Group of 24 Members Call on Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Move to Adopt Nuclear Safety Recommendations by October 21
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) led a letter signed by 24 members of Congress urging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to move to adopt the recommendations of the Commission’s Near Term Task Force reviewing NRC processes and regulations in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns. In the letter sent today, the members also express support for NRC Chairman Greg Jackzo’s proposal for the process for consideration of these recommendations by October 21, 90 days after the date of the Task Force’s report publication. The Task Force recommended such common sense measures as requirements to upgrade nuclear reactor protections for severe events such as earthquakes and hurricanes and to strengthen protections against the sort of catastrophic loss of electricity that caused the meltdowns in Japan, as well as increased NRC oversight and enforcement of regulations.
This past month's natural disasters are devastating proof that what happened in Japan could happen here in the United States,” said Rep. Markey. “As we continue to respond to the challenges at our nuclear power plants brought to the forefront by the Virginia earthquake and Hurricane Irene, it is urgent that the NRC address vulnerabilities to America’s nuclear fleet that were revealed by the Fukushima disaster. The Task Force’s recommendations would go a long way towards ensuring the safety of America's 104 nuclear reactors.”
“In this report there are a number of commonsense recommendations that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can and should take to make U.S. nuclear power plants safer,” said Rep. Capps. “During the last year, we’ve had wake-up call after wake-up call warning us of the need to immediately put in place safety reforms to prevent future energy catastrophes and to protect the public’s health and our environment. The NRC simply cannot afford to be complacent here. My constituents, who live in the shadow of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, cannot afford it either.”
“Ensuring the safety of our nation’s nuclear reactors - particularly those located in high-risk, densely-populated areas - is critical,” said Rep. Lowey. “In recent weeks the east coast has been affected by a significant earthquake, Hurricane Irene, and severe flooding, proving that we must be prepared for the unexpected.  Enacting the recommendations issued by NRC’s Near Term Task Force would be a step toward protecting the public from natural disasters, as well as blackouts or other catastrophic failures.”
The letter to the NRC can be found HERE .
Signatories on the letter include Edward J. Markey, Lois Capps, Nita M. Lowey, Maurice Hinchey, Raul M. Grijalva, Dennis J. Kucinich, Lynn Woolsey, Jim Moran, Charles Rangel, Mazie K. Hirono, Bob Filner, Louise Slaughter, John Tierney, Barney Frank, Emanuel Cleaver, Jan Schakowsky, Fortney Pete Stark, James McGovern, David Price, Eliot L. Engel, John Olver, Jerrold Nadler, Stephen Lynch and Earl Blumenauer.