Senator and chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Barbara Boxer (D-Rancho Mirage), has recently been at odds with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over what Boxer says is an attempt by the commission to conceal important documents regarding the San Onofre nuclear facility from Congress.
In a scathing letter to the NRC on Tuesday, Boxer accused the commission of creating a “controversial and obstructive new policy that NRC has designed in order to justify withholding information from Members of Congress.”
The NRC’s chairwoman Allison Macfarlane has denied accusations that the committee is delaying the release of important documents related to the San Onofre plant, which recently closed amid safety concerns.
One of the new policy changes includes mandating that requests come from ranking members or committee chairs.
Similarly, Boxer is upset that the NRC created new a protocol without notifying Congress beforehand. Boxer wrote, “the NRC unilaterally devised a drastic change of policy behind closed doors, failed to notify the EPW Committee about this far-reaching proposal, and then unilaterally implemented this harmful policy without consulting Congress or the public.”
This rift between the NRC and Boxer escalated during a Senate hearing aimed at creating safety regulations in response to 2011′s Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. During the hearing, all five of the NRC’s commissioners were present, but none spoke publicly about the ordeal.