Nuclear Safety

Jackson visited the Millstone, Conn., nuclear facility in 1998.

Shortly after assuming leadership at the NRC, Jackson took the opportunity to visit Chornobyl in Ukraine, where a reactor explosion in 1986 spewed plutonium and other highly radioactive materials into the atmosphere and froze the world's attention on the potential for cataclysm.
 "Chornobyl is an environmental disaster," Jackson says. "Even though the workers continue to work at the plant, no one can live within 18 miles of the facility. Even outside the boundaries there is still contamination."
 The Chornobyl experience focused Jackson on the need for international nuclear safety regulators to formalize a means to discuss and review safety issues at a high policy level. In 1997 she spearheaded the formation of the International Nuclear Regulators Association (INRA), comprising the most senior nuclear regulatory officials of Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She chaired the INRA through its first two years, guiding its development as a high-level forum to examine issues and to offer assistance to other nations on matters of nuclear safety.

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