Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) commissioner and chairman Gregory B. Jaczko is an outsider to the nuclear industry. But in this interview, he offers an inside view of a federal agency little known to most Americans. Jaczko describes the ways in which the nuclear industry and the US Congress put pressure on the NRC and how that leads to weakened regulations, such as the commission’s recent decision not to significantly expand post-Fukushima reforms beyond those adopted in 2012. He discusses the history of Yucca Mountain and the pros and cons of permanently burying spent nuclear fuel in a deep geologic repository, rather than continuing to store it above ground. He explains how the Fukushima disaster changed his views about the risks of nuclear power, and why he now believes that renewable energy is the best solution to climate change – and more affordable than subsidies to keep nuclear power alive.
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