Beyond Nuclear meets with NRC Chair Jaczko at Palisades; campaign mounts to block Commissioner Svinicki's re-appointment to NRC
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Gregory Jaczko, who announced his intention to resign earlier this week, has reached out to Beyond Nuclear to help set up a meeting with concerned citizens and environmental groups in South Haven, Michigan this Friday after he tours the problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor on the Lake Michigan shore. Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps worked with Don't Waste Michigan's Alice Hirt to assemble a coalition including Clean Water Action, Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes, Michigan Environmental Council (itself a coalition of over 70 organizations), Michigan Land Trustees, and Nuclear Energy Information Service, as well as numerous concerned local residents, to meet with NRC Chairman Jaczko. Jaczko plans to hold a 12:30 p.m. press conference at the Beach Haven Event Center in South Haven Township, MI, to be followed by the meeting with the environmental coalition at 1 p.m. Jaczko announced the upcoming visit on Monday, the same day as his resignation announcement, according to AP. However, NRC's website shows no such press release.
At the same time, a nationwide campaign to block the re-nomination and re-confirmation of Republican NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki is growing. Such Democratic U.S. Senate leaders as Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Majority Leader, Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee (which must confirm NRC nominees), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT, EPW Committee Member outspoken in his call for Vermont Yankee atomic reactor's shutdown), have expressed grave misgivings about NRC Commissioner Svinicki's voting record during her first term as an NRC Commissioner. Svinicki almost always votes in favor of nuclear industry interests, while Chairman Jaczko has often found himself the lone dissenting vote in favor of public safety. The Sierra Club has issued an action alert to block Svinicki's confirmation, as has NIRS. Please take action: call both of your U.S. Senators right away via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and urge them to do everything in their power to block NRC Commissioner Svinikci's confirmation!
Meanwhile, the Hill newspaper reports that President Obama has nominated Allison Macfarlane not only as a new NRC Commissioner, but also to serve as NRC's replacement for Jaczko as Chairman. Macfarlane's nomination now needs to be confirmed by the Democratic controlled U.S. Senate, beginning with the Environment and Public Works Committee chaired by Barbara Boxer (D-CA). U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has issued a statement. Click here for more information.