"WASHINGTON — A Senate committee on Wednesday questioned a panel of specialists about the safety and security of nuclear reactors that have been retired or forced out of business.
In a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Democratic chairwoman, Barbara Boxer of California, asked nuclear specialists whether enough had been done to assure that spent fuel from the decommissioned reactors, which is being stored on-site, was being properly secured. The problem is particularly acute because officials have announced the retirement of five nuclear reactors. Fuel from the plants remains stored on site in pools of water, which must be cooled, cleaned and monitored, and which critics say are vulnerable.
'The reactors may be shut down,' Ms. Boxer said, 'but the risk of an accident or attack have not gone away.'"