How Is Nuclear Power Regulated In The United States?

A lot of people have concerns about nuclear power. Even if people are familiar with the many benefits of nuclear power, they may worry about how this type of power is regulated. Are nuclear power plants as safe as they need to be?

In the United States, nuclear power is carefully regulated. Read on to learn more about how nuclear power is regulated in this country.

Federal Policy

Any nuclear power plant in the United States has to abide by federal laws and regulations regarding nuclear power. These regulations are fairly strict, and they tend to prioritize safety.

If a nuclear plant fails to abide by these regulations, the plant could face a fine. In more severe cases, it is possible that the plant could be shut down. There are real consequences for plants that ignore safety regulations. Because of this, most plants are operated safely and efficiently.

State Policy

In addition to the regulations imposed by the federal government, there are a number of states that have their own policies regarding nuclear power. State regulations cannot be laxer than the federal regulations are. They can only be more strict.

Nuclear power plants are located all across the United States. Even though some states have stricter regulations than other states do, there are still power plants being operated across the country. It’s clear that these regulations aren’t a major deterrent; they are simply there for safety’s sake.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

While the US government has regulations regarding nuclear power, there is also an independent organization that keeps a watchful eye on power plants. Having this organization ensures that the United States is safe even if the government weakens laws regarding nuclear power regulations.

This operating body regularly inspects plants and evaluates them. This organization helps to ensure that nuclear power is as safe as it needs to be. Few types of power are regulated this strictly. This is why many concerns regarding nuclear power are misplaced. There are many different entities working to ensure that nuclear power plants operate safely.

Major Changes In Energy Policy

Nuclear power regulations haven’t always been this strict. There have been a number of significant changes in nuclear power regulation over the years. One of the first big changes took place in 1978. This was when the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act was established.

New regulations were also introduced during the 1980s. This was when the Nuclear Waste Policy Act was introduced. The Low-level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act was introduced during this time as well.

In the 1990s, a new energy policy act was created. This act primarily revolved around radiation protection standards. While the initial bill was focused on the Yucca Valley region, this act has been used in regulating radiation protection in other areas as well.

Nuclear power regulations continued to be introduced in the new millennia. The Energy Power Act of 2005 is one such example. However, there were some people that thought this piece of regulation was too lenient.

All of these acts have been amended over the years. Nuclear power regulations have not remained static over time; they have gone through changes and seen a number of updates. It is because of this that we have such strong and efficient regulations today.

The Growth Of Nuclear Power

A lot of people assumed that overregulation would destroy the success of nuclear power. Surprisingly, it’s actually had the opposite effect. Nuclear power has seen a tremendous amount of growth over the last few years.

Why has nuclear power been growing? The regulations are actually one of the reasons that nuclear power has seen so much success. States are more likely to support nuclear power plants if they know that they are safe. Now that people see nuclear power as a safe and clean energy source, it will continue to grow.

Now that you know more about how nuclear power is regulated, you can see why so many people see nuclear power as a safe and efficient power source. Nuclear power isn’t something that you have to be worried about. Because nuclear power is so well regulated, it is actually one of the safest sources of power available.