Rep. Mullin presses NRC commissioners on role in closing nuclear plants

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Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin was pointed in his questions this week of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and why it’s closing more and more nuclear power plants in the country.

It was during a House Energy and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing where the Republican Representative pressed the commissioners on their role in closing nuclear facilities.

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Mullin: “We’re shutting down nuclear plants all over the country right now. Seven more are to be shut down this decade. You [Chairman Hanson] said we take the right approach, what is that right approach? Is that approach no nuclear power? Nuclear is clean and reliable if it’s done right. If the NRC is convinced we’re doing it right, then why are we shutting down plants while other countries are building them and why aren’t we bringing new ones online?”

Biden designates Hanson as the 18th NRC chairman -- ANS / Nuclear Newswire

Chairman Hanson: “I’m sorry Congressman, I guess I would argue that the decisions to shut down nuclear plants in the United States aren’t related to the NRC. These are largely due to economic factors outside of the NRC’s purview.”

Mullin: “I’m almost shocked that you said that. Because of the heavy regulations and the cost of meeting requirements that the NRC has put in place has made it where it’s not economically feasible for these plants to be built, much less maintained. And the NRC doesn’t have any role in that”

Chairman Hanson: “I won’t say that we don’t have any role, but I don’t think we’re the decisive factor in that, no, Congressman.”

Mullin: “That might be a big problem as to why we’re losing nuclear power around here.”