House subcommittees hold hearing on NRC oversight

Both the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power and the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a hearing regarding the oversight of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Wednesday.

Testimony came from commissioners Stephen Burns, William Ostendorff, Kristine Svinicki and Jeff Baran, as committee members expressed concern over rising regulatory compliance that is associated with rule making and other activity.

“The NRC’s reputation as the ‘gold standard’ nuclear regulator was established over the 40 years since its creation in 1975," Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) said. "However, proposed regulatory actions have threatened to deviate from the commission’s stated principles, diminishing the commission’s credibility. In fact, (House Committee on Energy and Commerce) Chairman (Fred) Upton (R-MI) and I sent a letter expressing our concerns with the use of ‘qualitative factors’ by the NRC to justify rule making. I’m hopeful the NRC will work to improve the organization’s efficiency.”

In testimony, Burns saidthe NRC aims to improve the efficacy and efficiency of the regulatory process and also stated the need for the commission to be deliberate and predictable when new regulatory requirements are developed.

"I’m hopeful the commission will take actions to limit the cumulative effects of regulation in cases where there is little to no additional safety benefit," Subcommittee on Environment and Economy Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) said. "The nuclear industry needs certainty from a reliable and efficient regulator." 

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U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce

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