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News Link • Japan - Earthquake Tsunami Radiation

Rand Paul’s budget eliminates agency that regulates nuclear safety

• RawStory.com

WASHINGTON – As radiation particles from the nuclear hazard in Japan send residents fleeing and make their way across the Pacific Ocean, one U.S. senator introduced a plan to get rid of the agency that regulates nuclear safety.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) unveiled his five-year budget plan Friday, a radical and ambitious proposal that would -- among other things -- eliminate the U.S. Department of Energy, one of the two federal agencies charged with overseeing America's nuclear capabilities.

The proposal comes as fears remain regarding the possible meltdown of a nuclear reactor in Fukushima, which was crippled by a massive earthquake off the coast of Japan and ensuing tsunami. Hundreds of thousands were evacuated as radiation leaked into the atmosphere. Trace elements of the radioactive fallout made it all the way to the U.S. by Friday.

 

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by J. Michael Haggard
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This story makes strong inference to radiation particles from Fukushima and how Sen. Paul plans to eliminate an agency responsible for "Nuclear Safety." This article is at best, misleading, in that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for reactor safety and it's not part of the Department of Energy (DOE). The other "main" area of nuclear concern lies with radiation from nuclear weapons, which may have been under the purview of the ERDA that did come under the DOE in 1977, but Sen. Paul's budget addresses transferring the Atomic Energy Agency and all nuclear research laboratories to the Department of Defense. This article appears to be inflammatory as if Sen. Paul's proposal is ludicrous, which simply is not the case. Here are excerpts from Sen. Paul's budget and Wikipedia regarding the NRC. From Sen. Paul's Budget Plan (linked in article) The Policy Proposal states: "Eliminate the Department of Energy; transfer the Atomic Energy Agency and all nuclear research laboratories to the Department of Defense." From Wikipedia: "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) oversees reactor safety and security, reactor licensing and renewal, radioactive material safety, security and licensing, and spent fuel management (storage, security, recycling, and disposal)." "The NRC was one component of the United States Atomic Energy Commission prior to 1975. When the U.S. AEC became the Energy Research and Development Administration in 1975, the NRC was formed as an independent commission to take over the role of oversight of nuclear energy matters, oversight of nuclear medicine, and nuclear safety. The development and oversight of nuclear weapons was transferred to the National Nuclear Security Administration, a subcomponent of ERDA. Research and promotion of civil uses of radioactive materials, such as for nuclear non-destructive testing, nuclear medicine, and nuclear power, was split into the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science & Technology within ERDA by the same act. (In 1977, ERDA became the United States Department of Energy)."

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