Friday, May 7, 2010

Why Nuclear is Better than Oil

Today's New York Times has an article whose title says it all, "Regulator Deferred to Oil Industry on Offshore Rig Safety." It turns out the the Minerals Management Service, an Interior Department agency, is charged both with regulating the oil industry and with collecting royalties from it. The article goes to to say that the trend in other parts of the world is to separate these functions.

We wring our hands on this blog about creeping complacency, normalization of deviance, and failure to sufficiently acknowledge conflicting goals in nuclear plant operations. But we don't have to bang the drum about getting a dedicated safety regulator; the NRC was created in 1974 specifically to separate the government's promotional and regulatory roles in the nuclear industry.

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