The aging nuclear reactors in the U.S. are not safe.*
But instead of following the lead of countries like Germany, Italy and Switzerland — which have pledged to shift away from nuclear power since the crisis in Japan — U.S. leadership has failed to grasp the risks of staying the nuclear course.
At a minimum, policymakers must embrace the commonsense legislation introduced by Representative Edward Markey to reduce existing risks to our nation’s nuclear reactors.
As evidence against nuclear power continues to stack up, some policymakers are starting to awaken to the threat.
Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) have directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate potential problems at aging nuclear power plants. And Senator Robert Casey (D-Pa.) has asked the GAO to report on whether evacuation planning has kept pace with population growth and other factors.
Much more action is required to shake Congress out of its nuclear haze, but these reports and the Nuclear Power Plant Safety Act are steps in the right direction.
Remember, your representative is being hounded by industry lobbyists. In fact, the main lobby group for the nuclear industry, the Nuclear Energy Institute, spent $545,000 on lobbying in the first quarter of this year — up 26% from the previous quarter.
And stay tuned for upcoming e-alerts about the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a big No Nukes action.
Thank you for all you do,
Public Citizen’s Climate & Energy Program
*If you missed my earlier email, read my blog post about the threats facing reactors in the U.S.