RELEASE: Breakthrough Institute Founder and Executive Director Ted Nordhaus’s statement on News that President Biden does not plan to re-nominate Commissioner Jeff Baran to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
January 22, 2024 - Berkeley, CA
“Today’s news that President Biden will not resubmit former Commissioner Jeff Baran’s nomination to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission marks a watershed for efforts to modernize the NRC and for Congressional Democrats.
America, the world, and the climate needs a nuclear regulator that takes the benefits of nuclear energy seriously. Nuclear energy protects public health, is a key technology for decarbonization and environmental conservation, and is a reliable and secure source of abundant electricity.
Radiological safety is important. But current regulatory practice at the NRC sacrifices public health and safety in an endless effort to minimize exposure to low levels of radiological exposure that are so infinitesimal as to be unobservable epidemiologically.
For over 70 years, nuclear energy has been an extraordinarily safe technology. Existing nuclear plants in the United States have saved over 600,000 Americans from premature death due to exposure to air pollution from conventional fossil fueled power plants. New nuclear technologies will be safer still and have the potential to save millions more lives all over the world. America and the world needs advanced nuclear technology to be commercialized as soon as possible.”