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Inhofe, Capito Call to Question Allocation of NRC Resources


WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, today sent a letter to Stephen Burns, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), asking for information about the NRC’s resources and efficiency. 

“Nuclear energy makes a vital contribution to powering our nation’s economy, contributing to energy security and providing thousands of jobs supporting families across the country.  We are concerned that the current size of the agency may not appropriately reflect the shrinking number of operating nuclear plants,”  Sens. Inhofe and Capito said in the letter.

The NRC has been steadily growing in size, however, the fleet of nuclear plants has been declining which is not reflective of a sustainable dynamic.   In 10 years, the NRC’s annual budget has grown from $669 million to $1.049 billion while the staff has increased from 3,208 full time employees to 3,778 for fiscal year 2015.  Meanwhile, the reactors supported have decreased from 104 down to 99. Commission members have acknowledged the need to “right-size” the agency.  This issue will be examined in the Committee’s April 15th hearing to review the NRC’s FY 2016 budget request.