“As an ‘independent agency,’ the NRC is independent from the Executive Branch – not from congressional oversight,” Boxer wrote. “It is the NRC’s responsibility to keep Congress apprised of its activities, as well as to follow the law and use its authorities responsibly and in the public’s interest.”
Yet the NRC “unilaterally devised a drastic change of policy behind closed doors” without notifying her committee, and implemented it without consulting Congress or the public, Boxer wrote.
“This policy is a radical departure from previous NRC document policies and creates significant hurdles and delays that can be used to withhold information entirely from the chairs and ranking members of oversight committees,” Boxer wrote. “It also allows the NRC to broadly deny information to individual members of Congress, even when the information is related to matters affecting their home states.”
The NRC’s claims that the new policy is justified by its need to protect against public release of sensitive materials isn’t supported by case law or by Justice Department guidelines, the senator wrote.
“I call on the NRC to cease its efforts to circumvent Congress’ oversight authority and create a policy that is a model of transparency and respects Congress’ responsibility to oversee the NRC,” Boxer wrote.