Blumenthal comes to Cuomo's side

John O'Brien Dec. 4, 2007, 5:15pm



HARTFORD, Conn. - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo received some more support from a colleague Monday in his mission to make the relicensing of Indian Point nuclear power plant more difficult.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal moved to intervene in the issue by requesting a hearing before the Nuclear Regulator Commission. Cuomo has asked that the NRC should consider a power plant's susceptibility to a terrorist attack and geographic location when granting licenses.

"The risks of a 20-year license extension are very serious," Blumenthal said. "The NRC must thoroughly and accurately evaluate the impacts resulting from a fire, accident or attack on the stored spent nuclear fuel at the site, as those risks will be profoundly increased by continued operation over an additional 20 years."

Blumenthal was already one of five other attorneys general who joined Cuomo in writing the NRC in November. They claimed a geological survey showed the possibility of a large earthquake in the eastern United States, and the 9/11 Commission report said al-Qaeda terrorists contemplated attacking nuclear plants with aircraft.

Two of the hijacked planes, it said, flew over Indian Point. Blumenthal and Cuomo want to ensure nuclear plants have devised an evacuation plan for those who live around them.

"(S)ince Indian Point was originally licensed, there has been a major increase in population in the potential emergency evacuation zone," Blumenthal said. "As a result, NRC must analyze the impact of an accident or attack in the context of a realistic evacuation plan covering areas of Connecticut and New York."

Cuomo, meanwhile, submitted papers to the NRC for the denial of Indian Point's relicensing. One reactor expires in 2013, and the other expires in 2015.

"The Indian Point relicensing application wholly fails to address a number of crucial issues, and it should not be granted in its present form," said New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Cuomo's predecessor as Attorney General.

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