House Dems call for hearings on U.S. nuclear safety

The White House said Monday it will not change course on its nuclear energy policies as a result of the Japanese disaster, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission insisted that U.S. nuclear reactors can withstand tsunamis and earth quakes.
But the lawmakers said Monday the NRC should consider the potential dangers of nuclear power when approving new projects and renewing reactor licenses.
The lawmakers take aim at the Vermont Yankee nuclear project, a boiling water reactor similar to those in question in Japan. The Yankee plant has come under criticism from Vermont lawmakers.
“In recent years, the NRC has approved over 60 license renewal applications, including several for plants with the same design as the endangered Japanese facilities,” the letter says. “In fact, the NRC recently voted to renew the operating license for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, which is of the same design as some of other reactors experiencing severe problems in Japan.”
Committee ranking Democrat Henry Waxman (Calif.), Energy and Power subcommittee ranking Democrat Bobby Rush (Ill.), Oversight and Investigations subcommittee ranking Democrat Diana DeGette (Colo.) and Rep. Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Tech: Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica controversy | Senate passes sex trafficking bill | EU pushes new tax on tech | YouTube toughens rules on gun videos Dem senator responds to Zuckerberg: 'You need to come' testify Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica crisis MORE (D-Mass.) sent the letter Monday.
The letter was sent to full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich), Energy and Power subcommittee Chairman Ed WhitfieldWayne (Ed) Edward WhitfieldWhy Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog What Azerbaijan wants from Israel? Overnight Energy: Green group sues Exxon over climate science MORE (R-Ky.) and Oversight and Investigations subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.).