NC WARN: Waste Awareness & Reduction Network
July 11, 2007
Contact: Jim Warren
GAO Will Study Enforcement of Nuclear Plant Fire Regulations
Statement from NC WARN Executive Director Jim Warren:
Today, Congressman David Price announced that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has accepted his request to study the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s enforcement of fire safety standards at U.S. nuclear power plants.
The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, will now assemble a team for the study, which is expected to begin in September. This is a very important juncture in the years-long campaign by public interest groups to force nuclear power plant owners to stop cutting corners on vital safety issues. Fire represents a leading risk factor for meltdown at nuclear plants.
NC WARN encourages the people of North Carolina to thank Representative Price, and the many local and state officials who sought his involvement in this issue due to particular concerns about violations at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant in Wake County.* When federal agencies such as the NRC protect corporate profits instead of public safety, it is reassuring to know that many elected officials take seriously their responsibility for public safety.
Since last fall, the regional public has increasingly voiced concern to public officials and Progress Energy management based on reports by NC WARN and others about 14 years of violation at Harris, and the company’s plans to delay compliance for years longer.
We especially wish to thank our technical experts and legal co-petitioners Dave Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Paul Gunter of the Nuclear Information & Resource Service. Also, thanks to co-petitioners NC Fair Share and SURGE, Students United for a Responsible Global Environment.
* The officials who met with Rep. Price in April (with support from others on their boards) to seek his help:
Dan Coleman, Carrboro Board of Aldermen, 919-593-2510 firstname.lastname@example.org
Randy Voller, Mayor of Pittsboro, 949-1274 email@example.com
Tom Vanderbeck, Chatham County Commission, 545-2160 VbeckT@aol.com
Mike Nelson, Orange County Commission, 749-6155 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Gering, Hillsborough Board of Commissioners, 644-8321 email@example.com
Mark Kleinschmidt, Chapel Hill Town Council, 260-2488 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. David Price: 919-859-5999