• House subcommittees hold NRC hearing, Wednesday, September 9

NRC commissioners will testify Wednesday

Will this hearing be more than a friendly tea party?

Tell the chairmen what you think about the NRC and its blatant disregard for public safety, and that you want Congress to take seriously its oversight role. Faxing puts a letter in their office which they can’t delete, as they can an email. Calling is important, too.

Rep. Ed Whitfield
Washington, DC Office:
United States House of Representatives
2184 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-1701 DC
Phone: 202-225-3115 DC
Fax: 202-225-3547 
Homepage: http://whitfield.house.gov/
Twitter: @RepEdWhitfield

Rep. John Shimkus
Washington, DC Office:
United States House of Representatives
2217 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5271
Fax: (202) 225-5880

Press Release:

The Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), have scheduled a joint hearing for Wednesday, September 9, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “Oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

The hearing will examine NRC’s long-term budget development and resource planning. Additionally, members will examine the proposed rulemaking associated with the Near Term Task Force (NTTF), which was established in response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident in Japan. The NTTF is tasked with evaluating the incident and developing recommendations for reactors throughout the United States. Ongoing activities related to storage, transportation, and disposal of high-level nuclear waste will be examined as well.

The NRC plays a critical role in protecting public health, safety and the environment, and we at the committee take our oversight responsibility seriously. We look forward to hearing from the four NRC commissioners next week on issues including commission rulemaking, staffing projections and budgetary needs. At the top of the list are the ongoing issues regarding the management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel, especially as it relates to Yucca Mountain,” Chairman Whitfield and Chairman Shimkus said.

The only witnesses at the hearing:
  • Jeff Baran
    Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Stephen Burns
    Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • William Ostendorff
    Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Kristine Svinicki
    Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Why weren’t public advocacy organizations invited to testify on what the NRC is doing to harm the public ? Why are NRC commissioners the only invited participants? 

This is the NRC’s paper on Fukushima that is part of its present policy making proceeding .


The available evidence continues to lead the NRC and other Federal, State and local governments to conclude the low levels of radiation leaking into the ocean from Fukushima Daiichi fall well short of posing any U.S. health or environmental risk.

As of March 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found “no evidence that radionuclides from the Fukushima incident are present in the U.S. food supply at levels that would pose a public health concern” [6]. Further, FDA states this is true for both regulated food products imported from Japan and our own domestic food products, including seafood that is caught off the U.S. West Coast [6]. In fact, the FDA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) jointly issued a statement indicating that they “have high confidence in the safety of seafood products in the U.S. marketplace or exported U.S. seafood products” [7].

The EPA utilizes a nationwide system called RadNet to monitor the nation’s air, drinking water, precipitation and pasteurized milk to determine levels of environmental radiation the American public is exposed to. RadNet sample analyses and monitoring results are able to detect increased radiation in the environment. RadNet has “not found any radioactive elements associated with the damaged Japanese reactors since late 2011, and even then, the levels found were very low—always well below any level of public health concern” [8].

In November 2014, WHOI scientists found trace amounts of Fukushima contamination about 100 miles (150 km) due west of Eureka, California [11]. The amount of radioactivity reported in this offshore data is 1,000 times lower than EPA drinking water standards.

Available evidence leads the NRC to conclude the Pacific contamination will not affect U.S. public health.

Because of its long half-life, radioactive Cesium (Cs-137) is the primary isotope of concern from a health perspective for the U.S. West Coast.

Really? Not strontium,  the “bone seeker”, or plutonium,  or any of the other radioactive poisons spilling into the Pacific from Fukushima at the rate of hundreds of tons per day.

No, for the NRC and in the information they provide the public, which also drives their policy-making, these are only “leaks”, like drips from a faucet.

No mention is made of rainwater at UC Berkeley being 181 times higher than EPA drinking water standards at the beginning. No mention is made of US government scientists finding initial levels of xenon gas equivalent to a one megaton atomic blast in the US, or that high levels lasted for weeks. No mention of the continued iodine-131 detections from Fukushima. No mention of the worsening situation with diseased, starving, non-reproducing, or dead marine wildlife up and down the West Coast.

Read more from this scientifically laughable report here:

This is the same Nuclear Regulatory Commission which told government scientists who wanted to help in the beginning to knock it off, to back off and certainly not to talk to the press.[1]

This is the commission the subcommittees want to have a chat with, but without any experts with critical responses to the NRC’s actions.

They put everyone’s lives at risk.

[1] http://enformable.com/2012/02/nrc-worried-about-us-national-labs-chomping-at-the-bit-to-help-with-fukushima-radiation-analysis-call-lab-directors-and-say-knock-it-off/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Enformable+%28Enformable%29

http://energycommerce.house.gov/press-release/subcommittees-continue-oversight-nuclear-regulatory-commission-0 Press release

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF18/20150909/103923/HMTG-114-IF18-20150909-SD002.pdf  Background memo

http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearing/oversight-nuclear-regulatory-commission  Hearing information