Leadership of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Hearing Beofre the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, Second Session, December 14, 2011   [open pdf - 7MB]

From the opening statement of Elijah E. Cummings: "In March of this year, a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed more than 20,000 people and devastated northern Japan. It caused catastrophic damage at four of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima power station. This was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl 25 years earlier. Our number-one priority on this committee must be ensuring that we learn the lessons of the Fukushima disaster and take appropriate action to improve the safety of nuclear power plants in this country. Yesterday, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a statement imploring our committee to focus today's hearing squarely on these safety issues. Dr. Lisbeth Gronlund, a physicist and co-director of global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), urged the committee to focus on the safety issues facing the U.S. reactor fleet rather than on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) internal squabbling. I strongly agree with the statements of Ms. Gronlund. The single most critical issue facing the NRC today is how it will respond to the Fukushima crisis. Five months ago, a task force of career NRC staff issued 12 recommendations intended to make U.S. nuclear power plants safer. In October, the staff prioritized eight of these recommendations. According to the staff, these recommendations have the greatest potential for safety improvement in the near term and should be started without delay. […] The natural question is, where do we go from here? Based on the letters all five Commissioners have sent to the committee in preparation for today's hearing, I believe they are all willing to fulfill the fundamental mission of the NRC. I sincerely hope that we can use today's hearing as an opportunity to get beyond past differences and refocus our energies on the goal of nuclear safety." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Elijah E. Cummings, Gregory B. Jaczko, Kristine L. Svinicki, William D. Magwood IV, William C. Ostendorff, George Apostolakis, William Borchardt, and Stephen Burns

Report Number:
Serial No. 112-152
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/
Media Type:
Help with citations