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OVERSIGHT HEARING

before The

-- SUBCOMMITTEE ON
GENERAL OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS

of THE

COMMITTEE ON
INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDREDTH CONGRESS
FIRST SESSION

ON

RELATIONSHIP OF THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION TO THE
NUCLEAR INDUSTRY

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Printed for the use of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs

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COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS

House of REPRESENTATIVES
MORRIS K. UDALL, Arizona, Chairman

GEORGE MILLER, California
PHILIP R. SHARP, Indiana
EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
AUSTIN J. MURPHY, Pennsylvania
NICK JOE RAHALL II, West Virginia
BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota
JERRY HUCKABY, Louisiana
DALE E. KILDEE, Michigan
TONY COELHO, California
BEVERLY B. BYRON, Maryland
RON DE LUGO, Virgin Islands
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
PETER H. KOSTMAYER, Pennsylvania
RICHARD H. LEHMAN, California
BILL RICHARDSON, New Mexico
FOFO I.F. SUNIA, American Samoa
GEORGE (BUDDY) DARDEN, Georgia
PETER J. VISCLOSKY, Indiana
JAIME. B. FUSTER, Puerto Rico
MEL LEVINE, California

JAMES McCLURE CLARKE, North Carolina

WAYNE OWENS, Utah JOHN LEWIS, Georgia

BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, Colorado

PETER A. DEFAZIO, Oregon

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STANLEY Scoville, Staff Director and Counsel
Roy Jones, Associate Staff Director and Counsel
LEE McElvain, General Counsel
RICHARD A. AGNEw, Chief Minority Counsel

SUBCOMMITTEE on GENERAL Oversight AND INvestigations
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut, Chairman

GEORGE MILLER, California PETER A. DEFAZIO, Oregon MORRIS K. UDALL, Arizona

DENNY SMITH, Oregon JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah DON YOUNG, Alaska

John SchEIBEL, Staff Director and Counsel

DAN ADAMson, Professional Staff Member Emily E. GRAY, Clerk and Staff Assistant MARTIN Howell, Minority Staff Consultant Note.—The first listed minority member is counterpart to the subcommittee chairman.

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CONTENTS

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577

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RELATIONSHIP OF THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION TO THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY

THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 1987

House of REPRESENTATIVES, SUBCOMMITTEE on GENERAL OverSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONs, CoMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRs, Washington, DC. The subcommittee met at 9:15 a.m. in room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building, Hon. Sam Gejdenson (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding. Mr. GEJDENson. This morning we will begin the first of what I expect to be a series of oversight hearings on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. My interest in nuclear power and the NRC is longstanding. I firmly believe that nuclear power is an important energy resource in this country. I also believe the future success of nuclear power depends on American people having confidence in the nuclear industry and those that regulate it. We in Connecticut ... our operating nuclear powerplants with an exemplary record. It is for this reason that I am increasingly concerned about the NRC. I am concerned that the NRC may not be maintaining an arm's-length regulatory posture with the commercial power industry. I am concerned that the NRC may have in some critical areas abdicated its role to regulate. I am also concerned that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission may not be allowing its investigators the latitude, independence and support necessary to perform their essential functions. In short, it is the NRC's charge to oversee the nuclear industry, not to overlook problems in that industry. Nowhere is there greater need for close scrutiny by regulators and investigators than in the nuclear industry. This is not because those in the industry are bad people. Most of those who run the commercial nuclear power industry are truly committed people. Close scrutiny is needed because so much is at stake. Due to the inherent danger of nuclear powerplants, there is little margin for error. Nuclear power is not a forgiving technology. We are dealing with a technology both delicate and devastating, which can affect the health, welfare, and indeed the lives of millions of people. The NRC has recognized that human error, the improper operating of complex equipment, is involved in virtually all nuclear accidents. It is therefore imperative that we do everything possible to minimize the chance of errors of this nature.

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