New Mexico senators seeks briefing on nuclear safety policy
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two U.S. senators from New Mexico are trying to thwart efforts to downsize and reorganize an independent safety panel that provides oversight of some of the nation’s highest risk nuclear facilities.
Democrats Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich say they secured language in a spending bill to prohibit the use of any appropriated funds to carry out the proposed reorganization of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, unless changes are vetted and authorized by Congress.
The other provision calls for the U.S. Energy Department to brief Congress on new policies that critics say would limit inspections and curtail the board’s access to key information at the nuclear sites.
Department officials during a recent hearing denied they were changing their approach to safety and rebuffed calls by board members and watchdog groups to put the policies on hold.