Senators demand congressional probe on nuke safety
Three U.S. senators, alarmed by findings of an Associated Press investigation about aging problems
at the nation's nuclear power plants, asked Thursday for a congressional investigation of safety standards and federal oversight at the facilities.
The request by Democrats Barbara Boxer of California and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and independent Bernard Sanders of Vermont builds on increased public concern about nuclear safety in recent months -- an outcry unlike anything since the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986.
Public interest first spiked after the March accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan. Concern has been heightened this week as the AP began releasing the results of a yearlong investigation into aging related safety problems at the 104 reactors operating in the United States.
That's led activists, politicians, critics and safety watchdogs to say they hope to turn the public focus more sharply onto the industry in America and broader regulatory problems at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. One after another, they said they hope the result will be tougher relicensing and safety standards, safer storage of spent fuel and better disaster planning.
[link to www.businessweek.com
] -this has the illusion of doing something however, most of the plants have already gotten renewals.[