H.R. 1326, Furthering International Nuclear Safety Act of 2011

Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, delivered the following opening statement at today’s full committee mark-up of H.R. 1326, Furthering International Nuclear Safety Act of 2011.

Madam Chairman, there is no greater demonstration of the need for greater international cooperation on improved nuclear reactor safety than the tragedy that is still unfolding at the Fukishima nuclear power plant in Japan.

Four reactors are still in danger of melting down, and their highly-radioactive spent fuel in adjacent pools in danger of catching fire, and spreading dangerous radioactive materials potentially world-wide.

This bill could not be more timely, and I was pleased to become an original cosponsor.

H.R. 1326 will increase U.S. outreach and support, through the auspices of the Nuclear Safety Convention, to all states that operate nuclear power reactors to assist them in improving the safety of their nuclear power programs.

It also requires the Secretary of State to submit a strategic plan to improve international nuclear safety for power reactors, and report to us how that plan is being implemented.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill. Thank you, Madam Chairman.