June 13, 2012
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday questioned Kristine Svinicki at a hearing on her nomination for a second term on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. At the confirmation hearing held by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sanders focused on the commission's proper role in ensuring plant safety and on issues surrounding the relicensing of the problem-plagued Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor. Sanders said he was strongly inclined to vote against confirming Svinicki for a another 5-year term on the commission.
Svinicki was one of the three commissioners who last year voted in secret to recommend to the Department of Justice that it weigh in on the side of Entergy, the operator of the Vermont plan, in litigation with the state of Vermont over the future of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.
"The function of the NRC is not to side with Entergy or other nuclear power companies in a disagreement with a host state," Sanders said. "The function of the NRC is to protect the safety of the American people."