"Indian Point Nuclear Threat Needs Senate Review, Engineers Contend"

"In a letter sent Wednesday, a pair of nuclear engineers -- one of them an employee at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission -- implored outgoing Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) to use his remaining days as chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs to investigate potential threats at two nuclear power facilities."

"Paul Blanch, a retired nuclear engineer and former employee at the Indian Point nuclear power facility in Buchanan, N.Y., and Lawrence Criscione, a risk engineer at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission headquarters in Maryland, suggest in the co-authored letter that the Indian Point plant is threatened by unsecured underground gas lines, and that an upstream dam presents heightened risk at the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina.

The engineers suggest that while the nuclear reactors themselves are well-protected, the gas lines and upstream dam are vulnerable to sabotage, engineering failures or damages from natural phenomena like earthquakes. Failures arising from such events could threaten the plants themselves, the engineers argue. The men also suggest that federal officials have been aware of these issues for some time, and that a combination of bureaucratic inertia and official secrecy have prevented the public from adequately assessing the true size and scope of any potential threat."

Tom Zeller Jr. reports for the Huffington Post December 20, 2012.

Source: Huffington Post, 12/21/2012