For more than three decades, Rep. Markey has worked to secure nuclear power plants and ensure the public safety in the event of a nuclear disaster. In 1979, before the Three Mile Island accident occurred, Rep. Markey introduced legislation providing for a three year moratorium on licensing of new nuclear power plants until a top to bottom safety analysis on nuclear reactors could be performed. In 1986, he chaired hearings on the causes and consequences of the disaster at Chernobyl. Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Rep. Markey passed a law to strengthen security for nuclear reactors and materials, and a law providing for distribution of potassium iodide to those living within 20 miles of a nuclear reactor (which still has not been implemented). And before the catastrophe in Japan, Rep. Markey raised concerns of the seismic resiliency of our reactors.
Since the devastating events in Japan, Rep. Markey has written to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and President Obama for more information on the impact of the earthquake on Japan's nuclear facilities and implications for America’s domestic nuclear industry. He has urged President Obama to consider specific policies here in the US to ensure increased nuclear safety. And most recently, he has queried the Food and Drug Administration on how the agency is ensuring that contaminated radioactive food or other agricultural products are prevented from entering the domestic food supply here in the United States.