The big four major US energy companies that are profiteering from the Fukushima nuclear disaster have a history of donating to the Democratic Party, a report has found.
The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), a nonprofit that tracks nuclear energy companies, said on Monday that the US nuclear industry received $1.4 billion from the Democratic National Committee in 2017.
It said that the $1 billion represents a $1,800 profit from the companies’ nuclear-related services to the DNC, and was paid out of the profits they received from nuclear reactors, nuclear plants, nuclear-powered electric vehicles, and nuclear energy-related equipment.
According to the report, the four companies that have received the largest portion of their nuclear profits are Southern Company, Westinghouse Electric, Dominion, and Southern Company Energy.
It also noted that $7 million of the $8.6 billion spent by the four energy companies on the DNC came from a $2.3 million contribution from the Nuclear Energy Industries Association, which represents the major utilities that own or operate nuclear plants.
The nuclear industry is currently in a legal battle with the US government over its future after the Fukushima disaster, which has devastated the Pacific island nation and killed more than 11,000 people.
Despite the government’s claims that the disaster was preventable and the world was on track to have low levels of nuclear power, the industry has remained deeply divided.
In a statement released on Monday, the NRDC said that a lawsuit brought by the Nuclear Power Institute, a trade association for the nuclear industry, is the largest lawsuit in US history over the Fukushima accident.
“The NRDC is proud to have helped launch this lawsuit against the big four nuclear energy giants that have profited from the deadly nuclear disaster in Japan,” said Dan Sirota, the director of the NRDF’s advocacy and policy center.
The NRDF, the trade association representing the nuclear energy industry, has been fighting the Obama administration’s attempts to regulate the industry.
The trade group’s latest lawsuit filed on Monday claims that “all nuclear power plants are subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the regulation of their facilities.”
The lawsuit says the NRC, which was created in 2011, is “an agency with no statutory authority to regulate nuclear power plant activities and has not undertaken any significant regulatory activities over the last three decades.”
“The NRC has consistently ignored the scientific evidence that shows nuclear power has no adverse health effects on humans, and has refused to impose the necessary regulatory standards,” the NRD said in its statement.
The NDF’s lawsuit also argues that the NRL has no authority to enforce any rules that might prevent the proliferation of nuclear plants in the US.
“This lawsuit is a victory for the public, and it demonstrates the importance of public participation in the nuclear safety process,” the organization said in a statement.
“NRC commissioners have consistently ignored public concerns and instead have given their thumbs up to the big energy companies and made it easier for them to build their nuclear power facilities and power plants around the country.
The NRC is no longer the guardian of public health and safety.
It is no more, and never has been,.”NRC Chairman Christopher Wray was named to the Trump administration in July 2017.