A recent letter that accused the EPA of hindering the licensing of nuclear reactors is in error. A quick look at the agency's duties relative to nuclear energy regulation reveals its purview is the handling of waste nuclear materials in the environment. The agency responsible for the licensing and approval of reactors and the design and approval of hardware for spent fuel rod storage is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The design and safety of rail cars are the topics addressed by the National Transportation Safety Board, which is also responsible for the investigation of accidents, not the EPA. The NTSB has noted a high incidence of failures during derailments of the predominant DOT-111 rail tankers that are less robust than the DOT-112 that is designed for pressured flammables such as propane. The updating of the DOT 111 cars to DOT-112 standards would be less than the estimated $5.4 billion spent on the Keystone XL Pipeline project and would profoundly mitigate future losses due to the inevitable derailments of the wide variety of hazardous materials throughout the country.
When one is strident in the assessment of a particular government entity, one should also put forth the effort to be educated and accurate.
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