Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and U.S. Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), Chairman of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee, introduced the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Reorganization Plan Codification and Complements Act (NRC Reorganization Act), which would guide the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) policy and rule-making actions and clarify the role and scope of power of each Commission member.

"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has a supremely important role within our government, and it cannot effectively operate without common sense legislation supporting it. We want to support the function of the Commission, but put some simple checks and balances in place," said Vitter. "Our bill will allow the Commission to run itself efficiently, and to preempt abuse of power."

"No matter where you stand with regards to nuclear power, we should all agree that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission needs to function well," said Terry "Trust at the Commission has been broken before, and it shouldn't happen again. This legislation is a good first step in the process to help the Nuclear Regulatory Commission function at a level the American people expect."

The NRC Reorganization Act codifies the Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1980, which had not been voted on in Congress. It also disperses power from the NRC Chairman to all five commissioners to avoid future abuses of power and mismanagement. The bill states that NRC members will have equal access to all information within the Agency, as well as the power to fill vacancies.

The NRC is made up of five appointed commissioners who are responsible for the policy formulation, rulemaking, and orders and adjudications regarding all national nuclear energy issues.