Senators question NRC's allocation of resources

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) | Contributed photo
U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) sent a letter last week to Stephen Burns, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), requesting more information about the NRC’s resources and efficiency.

“Nuclear energy makes a vital contribution to powering our nation’s economy, contributing to energy security and providing thousands of jobs supporting families across the country," Inhofe and Capito said. "We are concerned that the current size of the agency may not appropriately reflect the shrinking number of operating nuclear plants."

Although the NRC has grown in size, its fleet of nuclear plants has declined.

In 10 years, the NRC’s annual budget has grown from $669 million to $1.049 billion, while staff has increased from 3,208 full-time employees to 3,778 for fiscal year 2015. However, supported reactors have decreased from 104 to 99.

Inhofe serves as chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Capito serves as chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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