Vitter, Upton Ask GAO to Examine Controversial Cost-Benefit Analysis Procedures at Nuclear Regulatory Commission

May 23, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member David Vitter (R-LA) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today sent a letter to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), asking for a report on the methods and procedures currently being utilized by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to conduct cost analyses when developing and proposing new policies and regulations.

“It is our understanding that the NRC has a track record of producing cost estimates for its requirements on nuclear power reactors that can be egregiously off target from the actual costs of implementing the requirements,” Vitter and Upton wrote. “Nuclear safety is of the utmost importance to us and the future success of the industry. However, the costs of regulatory burden are ultimately paid by consumers and businesses.  As such, it is incumbent upon the NRC to ensure through disciplined technical and cost-benefit analyses that regulatory changes are justified.”

In a recent case, the NRC produced cost estimates for a regulation on containment venting systems for boiling water reactors, but those cost estimates were later recognized to have failed the cost-benefit test.

Click here to see a copy of the letter.

###