Sanders Says AP Raised Serious Nuclear Safety Issues

06/22/11 6:06AM

Sen. Bernie Sanders says The Associated Press raised disturbing allegations about the safety of aging U.S. nuclear power plants and wants Vermont's Yankee facility shut down.

Sanders said in a Senate speech Tuesday that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and plant operator Entergy have ignored the will of Vermonters. He pointed out that the state Senate voted 26-4 against the plant's operation once its license expires next year.

Sanders called for a congressional investigation into the safety issues, including tritium leaks raised in the AP series. He said the probe should determine whether the NRC is systematically working with the nuclear industry to undermine safety standards to keep aging plants operating.

California Democrat Barbara Boxer, chairwoman of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, says she is supporting Sanders' effort.

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