WASHINGTON (April 12, 2011) In testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today, Dr. Tom Cochran, a senior nuclear scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, is releasing NRDC’s preliminary analysis of the external radiation impacts on the Japanese people who live near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. He also is unveiling an analysis of the frequency of core melt accidents among reactors worldwide.
Cochran is urging Congress to back an independent commission to review the safety implications of Fukushima for nuclear power plants in the United States.
"It is not credible to expect the NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] staff to perform an unbiased review of its own past failings," Cochran says in his testimony.
NRDC President Frances Beinecke has previously asked President Obama to create such a panel of outside experts to conduct the review.
In his testimony, Cochran also says U.S. nuclear plants with obsolete designs should be phased out rather than have their licenses routinely extended.
The testimony is available here: http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/tcochran_110412.asp