Allison Macfarlane, the chairwoman of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is under fire from Senate Democrats seeking documents related to the safety violations at the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant, The New York Times reports.
California Senator Barbara Boxer, a longtime opponent of nuclear power, is reportedly seeking documents from the NRC relating to repair work done at San Onofre by plant operator Southern California Edison. Macfarlane’s current term terminates at the end of June, but she was appointed by the Obama administration to a new five year term pending Senate approval. Macfarlane had originally been selected to fill out the term of Gregory Jaczko, after he was forced out last year following a contentious tenure. As chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Boxer has refused to allow a vote on Macfarlane’s nomination while her request for documents from the NRC is pending.
Boxer says information contained in the documents she requests could influence California regulators as they seek to determine who should foot the $1 billion bill for the botched repair at the facility. According to The Times, others say the documents may raise questions about the safety of still-operating plants around the country.
The Senate has only three meeting days remaining before Macfarlane’s current appointment expires at the end of June.
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