1987 Scorecard Vote
In June 1987, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) proposed a new rule to allow nuclear power plants an operational license even if state and local authorities do not provide emergency evacuation plans. This rule would overturn a previous rule, enacted after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, which required that state and local governments submit plans for emergency evacuation as a condition of licensing a power plant.
This vote was on a Markey (D-MA) amendment to prohibit the NRC from licensing for full-power operation the nuclear power plants at Seabrook, NH and Shoreham, NY unless the emergency evacuation plans met the old NRC rules. Both Shoreham and Seabrook are located in heavily populated areas which would be impossible to evacuate in the event of an accident. Environmentalists strongly supported the original emergency evacuation rule and opposed the proposed change and, therefore, supported the Markey amendment.
The amendment was rejected 160-261 on August 5, 1987. While the proposed NRC rule change is under challenge in the courts, the Seabrook utility has since declared bankruptcy and the Shoreham plant has been permanently shut down by New York State and the utility company. YES is the pro-environmental vote.