By Peyton Gill
The nuclear power industry is requesting ending regulations from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which is made up of five members appointed by Trump. Straight from the mouth of one such board member, David Wright, “The NRC mission is reasonable assurance of adequate protection—no more, no less.” That is NOT in the best interest of the public, considering nuclear power plant accidents have led to horrendous disasters and diseases in people and towns having to evacuate permanently due to radiation seeping out with its deadly toxicity.
The 98 commercially operating power plants in the United States need to be highly regulated to protect our bodies and the environment. Entergy operates the Waterford Nuclear Power Plant less than 50 miles upriver from New Orleans, well within the NRC-designated “ingestion exposure pathway,” an emergency zone that mandates emergency plans for the ban of contaminated food and water. The Nuclear Energy Institute group submitted a letter to their buddies on the Commission who themselves have financial interests in the nuclear industry. By creating loop holes, evading safety assessments, and not requiring the nuclear plants to inform the public when there are problems or inspection failures (yes, this is one of the requests the nuclear power plant industry included in the letter), the nuclear industry is able to go unchecked in what is a high-risk danger for all life. Nuclear core meltdowns in Chernobyl in 1986, and in Fukuishima, Japan, in 2011 show this. A near melt down at the Three Mile Island Plant near Harrisburg, Penn., in 1979 left the entire Midwest and East Coast in a three day nightmare during the attempt to contain it. A demonstration of over half a million people took place following that.
The nuclear energy capitalists want the NRC to reduce the burden of radiation-protection and emergency-preparedness inspections, letting plant owners do “self-assessments” and “self-reporting”, and less disclosure to the public of plant assessments. Nuclear reaction plants need to be under the most scrutiny by safety inspectors who are not employed by the plants, and they have no valid correct reason to keep assessment information from the public. This goes to show you what happens behind closed doors in the interest of greed over safety of millions of people and the planet.