Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s questions.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, participated in a hearing on the nomination of Christopher Hanson to continue serving on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

During the hearing, Ranking Member Capito discussed the importance of the NRC working in person to carry out its mission, Chairman Hanson’s record at the NRC, and potential improvements to the NRC’s capacity to more efficiently approve nuclear reactor license applications.


ON THE IMPORTANCE OF IN-PERSON WORK FOR THE NRC TO CARRY OUT ITS MISSION: “You know this is one of my [priorities]…as I mentioned in my opening statement, is the staff telework decision. You select and appoint the Executive Director for Operations. The recommendations, which was to reduce the amount of in-person work at the NRC from the current minimum of two days a week to just four hours per week…I definitely disagree with the track that you’re taking there because I think that's part of the problem you see government-wide is the president is in charge of the government. He makes a statement, ‘everybody should come back to work,’ but nobody's coming back to work. They're not coming back to work full time.”

ON HANSON’S RECORD AS NRC CHAIRMAN: “You've stated and you restated again that reliability is critical in terms of decision-making because it ensures a level of predictability and certainty. And so you did, despite your statements, you did choose to side with former Commissioner Baran to overturn previously issued license renewals. Your decision ignored extensive staff analysis and justification, multiple previous commission licensing actions, without any new information really being used. The resulting vote occurred solely because two commissioners that had previously been in the majority were no longer on the Commission. How does your vote to reverse previously issued licenses align with your 2020 statements that the NRC must be reliable and predictable, and your statements here again today, in its regulatory action so licensees can act with a minimum of uncertainty in the regulatory arena?”



“I'm going to kind of read a statement. I just want to get your commitment that I have this right. It's sort of dealing with some of the things you said previously…In response to direction from the Commission, last week the NRC staff released a roadmap to improve the NRC’s review of subsequent license renewal applications. The roadmap’s goals with respects to timeliness, costs, and number of applications in review are insufficient. I would like a commitment from you, Chair Hanson, that you will direct the staff, utilizing the chairman's authority to direct and supervise the staff, to update the roadmap to achieve an 18-month review schedule with 14,000 staff hours to complete the review and capacity review up to 12 applications at the time. Staff should be prepared to achieve these goals by the end of this calendar year. Is that basically what you said? “


“I don't know if the 12 applications at a time, senator. I'm not trying to walk that back. I just want to understand from the staff better what their actual capacity is and what a reasonable stretch goal would be in that area. I want them to understand better that the roadmap needs…that I'm not satisfied with roadmap and that we need to do better. Certainly I did say 14,000 hours. Again, that seems like a reasonable goal to me. And I think that's something we should shoot for. And again, getting to 18 months before 18 months is also something that I think we should and that I will be engaging with the staff directly on.”

Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s questions.

Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s opening statement.

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