Wall Street Journal
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Letters to the Editor
Regulators Brush Aside Nevada Citizens' Safety
Your Jan. 12 article "Bush Will Push Nuclear Power as Clean, `Renewable Energy' " paraphrases Exelon Corp. Chairman John Rowe as urging Congress and the White House "to help remove the legal and regulatory obstacles to using Yucca Mountain, the federal repository for nuclear wastes in Nevada." Your readers should be aware that the remaining "legal and regulatory obstacles" to licensing the facility are the bare-bones public safety requirements.
The truth is that the regulators—the Environmental Protection Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission— could hardly be more accommodating. They have trimmed the law and "streamlined" the public process to ease approval of the proposed repository, to the dismay of the state of Nevada. Mr. Rowe, whose company operates the nation's largest fleet of nuclear reactors in the Northeast and Midwest, and who therefore has important safety responsibilities for citizens in those areas, is in effect calling for Congress and the White House to water down the remaining safety protection for Nevada's citizens.