Nuclear Goldilocks: Combatting the Cumulative Effects of Non-Regulation

March 12, 2014
David Wright
Former contributor

The U.S. nuclear power industry has been raising concerns about what is being called “the cumulative effects of regulation.” The industry sees NRC regulatory demands as an ever growing burden that it doesn’t believe adds significantly to public safety.

In August 2012, the NRC approved a plan to evaluate the cumulative effects of its regulations on the nuclear industry, with the goal of seeing what regulations should be “modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed” because of their regulatory burden.

Dave Lochbaum wrote a post about this issue at the time in which he concluded:

Whatever burden exists on plant owners from the cumulative effects of regulation, it almost certainly pales in comparison to the burden placed on innocent Americans from the cumulative effects of non-regulation.

Yesterday Dave was part of an NRC panel on “Agency Efforts to Address the Cumulative Effects of Regulation,” at the 26th annual Regulatory Information Conference. He presented a short paper, “Nuclear Goldilocks,” that discusses the importance of looking at both sides of this issue, and not neglecting potential safety issues resulting from a lack of effective regulation by the NRC.