Post-Fukushima, Arguments for Nuclear Safety Bog Down via The New York Times


The filters, which have been recommended by the staff of the regulatory commission, are supposed to prevent radioactive particles from escaping into the atmosphere. They are required in Japan and much of Europe, but the American utilities say they are unnecessary and expensive.


The debate over the filters reflects a simmering tension that has been building inside the regulatory agency since the Fukushima accident in Japan. A tug of war among commissioners and between some commissioners and staff members has produced repeated votes that reject staff safety recommendations.

Animosities have welled up to the point that four of the five members complained to the White House in late 2011 about the “serious damage to the institution” caused by Gregory B. Jaczko, then the chairman of the commission. The members complained that Mr. Jaczko was cutting them out of the loop as he prepared plans for how the industry should respond to the disaster in Japan.

Mr. Jaczko, who has since resigned, fired back, telling the White House that, “unfortunately, all too often, when faced with tough policy calls, a majority of this current commission has taken an approach that is not as protective of public health and safety as I believe is necessary.”

The White House shied away from the dispute, but accepted Mr. Jaczko’s resignation.

Congress has since gotten involved. Over the last month, 55 lawmakers have signed letters, some pushed by industry lobbyists, that urge commissioners to reject the filters.

Read more at Post-Fukushima, Arguments for Nuclear Safety Bog Down

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