1992 Scorecard Vote
Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) proposed an amendment to the energy bill that would have established an independent Nuclear Safety Investigations Board, modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board, to investigate nuclear accidents and other significant safety-related incidents. In 1990 and 1991, there were at least 16 such significant events at nuclear facilities.
The Biden amendment sought to correct a structural problem in the nuclear regulatory system that requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to sit in judgment of itself. The NRC, which licenses atomic reactors and certifies their safety, cannot act as an independent investigator when one of the plants turns out to be unsafe. (The proposed board would not have increased NRC's budget.)
The vote is on Senator Bennett Johnston's (D-LA) motion to table (kill) Senator Biden's amendment. The Johnston motion was agreed to 63-35 on February 19, 1992. NO is the pro-environment vote.