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Upton Comments on Nuclear Energy Policy at Today’s Joint Subcommittee Hearing

Energy Secretary and Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman testify amidst ongoing devastation in Japan

Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, made the following opening statement at today’s Energy and Power Subcommittee and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee joint hearing with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Gregory Jaczko. Originally scheduled to examine the FY 2012 Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission budgets, the hearing provided an opportunity for Congress to formally receive a status update about the Japanese nuclear facilities damaged after a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the nation last week.

“In the midst of a natural disaster and a tragedy we’re watching unfold hour by hour, we need to allow time for reflection and careful analysis and learn from their mistakes. This is especially true when it comes to proposals that would make permanent changes in policy based on incomplete information,” said Upton.  “I live 15 miles from two nuclear power plants, so the safety of U.S. nuclear facilities is not an issue I take lightly. I am not straying from my support for safe nuclear energy as a vital component of America’s present and future energy mix. It is just as important to dispel overstated fears as it is to discuss legitimate concerns, and I know we can begin the process of doing both.”

During the hearing, Upton questioned the NRC chairman regarding the adequacy of NRC’s resources for their monitoring of the all US plants and was given such assurance.

Upton’s southwest Michigan district is home to both the D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman and the Palisades Nuclear Plant in Covert Township.

The full text of Upton’s prepared opening remarks can be found HERE.  An archived webcast of today’s subcommittee hearing can be found HERE.

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