NRC, Congress lag on nuclear safety measures

Juliette Kayyem’s March 11 op-ed column “Safety vs. recovery after disasters” recognized Japan’s need for the return of nuclear power, albeit with several safety reforms. Here in the United States, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has struggled to implement its post-Fukushima safety recommendations two years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The NRC and Congress must prioritize safety and promptly implement the recommendations at our nation’s 104 nuclear reactors.

These safety recommendations, including the installation of filtered vents to minimize the release of radioactive particles, have stalled as a result of significant backlash by some in Congress, citing industry objection. However, profits cannot take precedence over our safety.

Boston lies within 35 miles of Pilgrim’s nuclear reactor, whose design is similar to Fukushima’s. Therefore, our elected representatives are obligated to see that nuclear power operates as safely as possible so that any potential nuclear disasters can be avoided.


In order to place a spotlight on this issue, constituents must pressure their state and city officials to advocate for increased nuclear power safety in order to hold the NRC accountable and focused on our well-being.

Christian O’Rourke