[Beyond Nuclear note: Fukushima Daiichi Units 1-4 were General Electric Mark I Boiling Water Reactors. The U.S. has 23 still-operating Mark Is, including Pilgrim near Boston, as well as Vermont Yankee in Vernon, VT, 8 miles upstream from the MA state line. Entergy announced in August 2013 that it would shutdown Vermont Yankee before the end of 2014.]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE
Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey) 202-224-2742
In 2011 in the House of Reps., lawmaker introduced nuclear safety legislation to ensure U.S. nuclear power plants could withstand earthquakes, tsunamis, long power outages, or other major events
Washington (March 10, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey, Congress’s leading voice on nuclear safety, released the following statement today decrying the lack of progress on key improvement to America’s nuclear fleet in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to the meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactors in Japan.
“America’s nuclear reactors are no more protected than they were three years ago when Japan experienced the worst nuclear disaster in history,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “Since the catastrophic meltdowns at Fukushima, reactors in the United States have yet to be required to implement a single new safety measure. While the NRC’s technical expert report called for swift mandatory adoption of all of its recommendations, the Commission voted to extend implementation deadlines, add cost-benefit analysis barriers to moving forward and delay consideration of some of the recommendations altogether. Three years later, it is past time to immediately act to implement all of the NRC technical staffs’ recommendations and ensure Americans, especially those living near nuclear reactors, are safe.”
Since the tragic events in Japan, Senator Markey has written to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and President Obama for more information on the implications for America’s domestic nuclear industry. He has repeatedly urged the NRC to consider specific domestic policies to ensure increased nuclear safety and introduced legislation to require their implementation. He also queried the Food and Drug Administration on how the agency is ensuring that contaminated radioactive food or other agricultural products are prevented from entering the domestic food supply.