Charting the government's investigations of the NRC

Justice Department opened a criminal investigation of Commissioner Thomas Roberts on April 23. The probe, conducted by the office of Joseph diGenova, the US attorney for the District of Columbia, focuses on how an NRC memo, which detailed flaws in a Waterford, La., nuclear plant, got into the hands of the Louisiana Power and Light Company.

The memo had Mr. Roberts's initials on it.

Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, under Sen. John Glenn (D) of Ohio, is exploring allegations that the NRC gave favorable treatment to some of the electric utilities it regulates.

Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Nuclear Regulation, chaired by Sen. John Breaux (D) of Louisiana, will hear Commissioner Roberts testify sometime next week about his relationship with the Louisiana utility.

The subcommittee has given Roberts several weeks to prepare his testimony, during which time he has not been allowed to participate in the activities of the NRC.

In addition, the subcommittee has requested assistance from the General Accounting Office, the auditing arm of Congress.

The GAO investigators will officially begin work for the Senate on June 1.

House Interior Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, under Rep. Sam Gejdenson (D) of Connecticut, has scheduled a hearing for June 11 focusing on the NRC's ability to conduct independent investigations.

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