The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Fukushima Daiichi task force recently submitted a report to the congressional oversight committees on the first 90 days of its nuclear power plant review which examines the safety of nuclear energy facilities in the United States. The report also provides recommendations to improve the U.S. facilities’ safety procedures.
Since the report’s release last week, Chairman Jaczko has announced that the Commission should review the suggestions within 90 days; and, for the industry to implement those suggestions within five years. While the Chairman claims that the 90 day review is ample and just, many in the nuclear energy industry would argue otherwise. In fact, any speedy regulation for the sake of regulation will be a roadblock for further developing the U.S. nuclear energy industry. Additionally, the negative economic impact of burdensome proposed regulations will not just kill existing jobs, but also preventing the creation of new ones.
Since the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, U.S. nuclear facilities have been in the forefront of providing support. Additionally, they have been examining their own plants to expand on the safety measures that are already in place. The industry as a whole has always been committed to safety and will continue to be in order to ensure consumers have access to safe, clean, dependable and affordable source of energy, particularly manufacturers that use nearly 30% of the nation’s energy. As a result, the Commission should take its time in reviewing any suggestions by the report. Furthermore, the Commission should allow for deliberations that include stakeholders’ input in order to make certain that any regulations moving forward are balanced and provide for increased safety without a negative economic impact to the industry that would result in job loss and increase the cost of energy.