The Multinational Monitor

Jan./Feb. 2001 - VOLUME 22 - NUMBER 1 & 2

T H E    L A W R E N C E    S U M M E R S    M E M O R I A L   A W A R D


The January/February 2001 Lawrence Summers Memorial Award* goes to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

In October, 21 years after Public Citizen petitioned the NRC to declare the accident at Three Mile Island an extraordinary nuclear occurrence, the agency finally responded ... declaring that the accident was not extraordinary.

Declaring the accident an extraordinary nuclear occurrence would have prevented the reactor owner from using certain legal defenses against citizens seeking to recover damages.

*In a 1991 internal memorandum, then-World Bank economist Lawrence Summers argued for the transfer of waste and dirty industries from industrialized to developing countries. "Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs (lesser developed countries)?" wrote Summers, who went on to serve as Treasury Secretary during the Clinton administration. "I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that. ... I've always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are vastly under polluted; their air quality is vastly inefficiently low [sic] compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City." Summers later said the memo was meant to be ironic.