Statement of Senator Jon S. Corzine
Committee on Environment and Public Works
Subcomittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property and Nuclear Safety
May 8, 2001
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, the issues before the committee today are extremely important to the people of New Jersey. My state has four nuclear generators, and together they represent approximately 50 percent of the electricity generated in New Jersey.
NRC regulation of these facilities therefore has important implications for the New Jersey economy. Other uses of nuclear material, such as nuclear medicine, are also important to my constituents. As a result, I am concerned that NRC regulation be as effective and efficient as possible.
More importantly, however, I am concerned about safeguarding public safety and the environment. Changes in NRC regulations should not unduly compromise these goals.
I believe that science and common sense can and should guide the NRC’s balancing of safety and efficiency. “Risk-informed regulation” is the stated underpinning of the NRC’s efforts to modify its regulations. This phrase—“risk-informed regulation”—sounds appealing, and may hold the promise of a proper balance. But the issues are complex, and I want to learn more about how the NRC is proceeding.
So I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses. I am particularly interested in their assessments of the validity of the approach that the NRC is employing in developing “risk-informed regulations.” Within this issue, I am most interested in hearing the panelists’ perspectives on the new reactor safety oversight process. With that, Mr. Chairman, I conclude my remarks.