Inhofe, Capito, Barrasso Request GAO to Examine NRC's Use of RAIs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, along with Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety for Senate EPW, and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) today sent a letter to Gene L. Dodaro, the comptroller general of the United States at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting information regarding the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC)  use of requests for additional information (RAI). 

“As part of several licensing processes, staff working in the various Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) program offices have the authority to make requests for additional information (RAI). RAIs are designed to enable  staff to obtain all relevant information needed to make a regulatory decision that is fully informed, technically correct, and legally defensible. In the case of license amendment requests, NRC guidance directs the staff to limit the scope of RAIs to issues that have a regulatory basis, to avoid issuing RAIs if the information is already available, and “…to make every effort to limit itself to one round of RAIs…” the members said in the letter.

“During the late 1990s, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee oversight activities unearthed concerns regarding the excessive use of RAIs resulting in unnecessary increased costs and schedule delays,” the members continued. 

“Similar concerns have resurfaced in the past year regarding the number, nature, and management of RAIs,” the members concluded.

To view the full text of the letter, click here.