The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has recommended a rollback of inspections in order to save money. Industry representatives think there should be a move towards more “self-assessments,” limited public disclosures for “lower-level” problems at plants, and lightening the “burden of radiation-protection and emergency-preparedness inspections” according to Common Dreams.
The NRC believes that the rollback “improves efficiency while still helping to ensure reasonable assurance of adequate protection to the public.”
One NRC member, Jeff Baran, said that the agency “shouldn’t perform fewer inspections or weaken its safety oversight to save money."
Democrats from the House Appropriations and Energy and Commerce committees also said that they were concerned about the loosening safety standards in a letter to NRC Chairwoman Kristine Svinicki.
They wrote: “To ensure nuclear power provides safe, reliable, emissions-free energy, it is imperative for the NRC to uphold strong regulatory standards. That is why we are disturbed by the consideration of these far-reaching changes to the NRC's regulatory regime without first actively conducting robust public outreach and engagement. It would be a mistake to attempt to make nuclear power more cost competitive by weakening NRC's vital safety oversight. Cutting corners on such critical safety measures may eventually lead to a disaster that could be detrimental to the future of the domestic nuclear industry.”
Some fear that rollbacks could lead to a disaster similar to Chernobyl.
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