NRC Commissioner Urged to Resign


After seeking and then getting an international job promoting nuclear power while serving on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Commissioner William D. Magwood is being urged to resign immediately by 34 leading national and local groups, including Friends of the Earth, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Sierra Club Nuclear Free Campaign, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. 

According to the letter the groups submitted today to Magwood and his fellow Commissioners, Magwood “fatally compromised” his role as an independent safety regulator by failing to recuse himself from NRC safety decisions while negotiating for and accepting the position of Director-General with the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).  By charter, the NEA actively promotes the use of nuclear energy and the economic interests of its member governments, including governments that own or sponsor U.S. nuclear licensees and applicants.  

The groups charge that Magwood’s negotiation for and acceptance of the NEA position, while also serving as a safety regulator at the NRC, is “antithetical to the basic principles of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 that safety, not economics, must be the NRC’s paramount consideration and that promotional policies shall be left to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).”  The letter warns that “the blending of economic promotion with safety regulation … was a root cause of the regulatory failures that paved the way for the Fukushima disaster in Japan.”

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