"In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in Japan, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) established an agency task force to conduct a review of the lessons that can be learned from the Tohoku earthquake and the tragic, ongoing events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant that have followed. [...] However, an examination of NRC regulations demonstrates that flawed assumptions and under-estimation of safety risks are currently an inherent part of the NRC regulatory program, due to a long history of decisions made by prior Commissions or by the NRC staff that have all too often acquiesced to industry requests for a weakening of safety standards. Coupled with reports that the near-term inspections being conducted at United States nuclear power plants may be limited in scope and subject to restrictions on public disclosure, it would be unwise to move forward with any pending licensing actions before the NRC fully completes its review and upgrades of its safety requirements. The NRC's stated commitment to learn from the recent Japanese disaster is undermined both by its post-Fukushima approvals of license extension applications for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vermont and Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Units 1, 2, and 3 in Arizona and by its apparent failure to fully explore all the vulnerabilities the Fukushima meltdown has revealed. This report represents a partial summary of regulatory inadequacies, practices and decisions that impair effective nuclear safety oversight, some of which have occurred in the wake of the Japanese meltdown."
U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Ed Markey (Massachusetts 7th District): http://markey.house.gov