Statement on Nuclear Regulatory Commission Nominee

WASHINGTON, April 19 - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today on the reappointment of Commissioner Kristine Svinicki to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

"I have serious concerns about NRC Commissioner Svinicki's record on safety. With Commissioner Svinicki's vote, the NRC approved Vermont Yankee's license extension a week after the Fukushima disaster, without even pausing to consider the safety implications for the Vermont plant which shares the same design as the Fukushima reactors that melted down.

"Commissioner Svinicki also voted in secret to recommend that the Department of Justice side with Entergy in its federal preemption lawsuit against the state of Vermont, despite admitting at a Senate hearing she had not read the seminal 1983 U.S. Supreme Court decision on federal nuclear preemption. The NRC's job is to ensure safety, not to promote nuclear power.

"The Commissioner has not supported full implementation of all post-Fukushima safety reforms recommended by an NRC task force, and has in fact voted to approve licenses for two new nuclear reactors without requiring them to implement these safety reforms.

"Based on my concerns about Commissioner Svinicki's record, I believe we need a new commissioner in that seat who is fully committed to implementing safety reforms expeditiously."