Group letter to U.S. Senators urges opposition to NRC nominees due to bias, collusion with nuclear power industry
September 7, 2017
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Beyond Nuclear is urging organizations to sign onto a coalition letter, addressed to U.S. Senators. The letter urges U.S. Senators to oppose President Donald J. Trump's two Republican nominees for seats on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) -- Annie Caputo and David Wright -- due to the nominees' clearly established bias in favor of such nuclear power industry goals as the opening of the Yucca Mountain, Nevada dump for irradiated nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

Now that the U.S. Senate is back in session after its long August recess, these nominations could come up for an up or down confirmation vote on the Senate floor at any point.

Caputo previously was a top lobbyist for the largest U.S. nuclear utility, Exelon. For more than a decade, she has served as a top committee staffer for the most pro-nuclear members of congress, including U.S. Reps. Barton and Upton (chairmen of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee), and U.S. Sens. Inhofe and Barrasso (chairmen of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee).

For a decade, Wright was a leader of the South Carolina Public Service Commisision, as well as the National and Southeastern public service commission associations, with a focus on nuclear power and radioactive waste matters. He approved multiple rate hikes in South Carolina to finance the building of the now-cancelled Summer Units 2 and 3 atomic reactors, representing a loss of billions of dollars of ratepayer money.

After a year-long indepenedent investigation, the Japanese Parliament concluded that the root cause of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe was collusion between supposed safety regulators, the nuclear power industry, and government officials.

As the group letter states:

Given their long established closeness to the nuclear power industry’s lobbying agenda, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the NRC, Annie Caputo and David Wright would worsen such dangerous regulator-industry collusion on the NRC Commission. Confirmation of Caputo and Wright would consummate the nuclear power industry’s high-risk domination of the NRC for the next five years.

See the text of the letter, and the list of endorsing groups as of 9am Eastern time, Thursday, September 7, 2017.

Sign on deadline is close of business, Friday, September 8, 2017. U.S. groups only please. To sign on, please send the person's name, title, group name, city and state to the following email address: kevin@beyondnuclear.org.

Individuals can also take action. Pleaese contact both your U.S. Seantors, and urge them to oppose Caputo's and Wright's confirmations. Find your U.S. Senators' contact information by following these links, or be patched through to their Washington, D.C. offices by phone by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

To learn more about these nominees, see the entries below, at Beyond Nuclear's NRC webiste section.

Article originally appeared on Beyond Nuclear (http://www.beyondnuclear.org/).
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