Nuclear power provides almost 20 percent of the total net electricity generated in the United States. At the federal level, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has oversight over safety and natural security issues related to the 104 nuclear reactors. However, states are responsible for determining questions of need, reliability, and cost. While many support nuclear power as an economically and environmentally sound alternative to coal, Senator Leahy has public safety concerns, particularly in light of the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan.
Senator Leahy remains very concerned that nuclear power poses a host of environmental, health, and public safety concerns, not to mention unresolved issues related to the storage and transportation of spent fuel and waste. On February 20, 2013, Senator Leahy signed on to a letter led by Senator Barbara Boxer to NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane to implement a significant safety improvement at 31 U.S. nuclear reactors including Vermont Yankee. Please click here to see the letter.
The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is set to close in 2014. Senator Leahy is most concerned with the safe decommissioning of the plant. He will continue to demand that every precaution be taken to ensure public and worker safety. To read Senator Leahy’s reaction to the closing of Vermont Yankee, please click here.