“This seems like an ideal time to remind many of my colleagues across the aisle that regulation is not a bad word,” says Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado.

AtomHouse Democrats hammered federal regulators on the safety of the U.S. nuclear industry, casting skepticism on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s assurances that plants here are safe despite the disaster unfolding in Japan.

Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey likened the Japanese authorities’ desperate efforts at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to a BP-style “nuclear junk shot,” adding: “Yet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission insists that our systems are safe, even before beginning, let alone completing, its review of our reactors and spent fuel pools.”

Markey also complained that existing U.S. regulations don’t fully account for the risk of earthquakes, while requirements for backup battery power here “are generally less stringent than what the Fukushima reactors were equipped with.”

But the subcommittee split along party lines, with Chairman Cliff Stearns telling his colleagues that “there should be no question about the experience and responsiveness of America’s nuclear power system.”

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Source: Darius Dixon | POLITICO