Sen. Menendez, Gov. Christie Concerned About NJ Nuclear Plants

NEWARK, NJ (AP / WCBS 880) – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez wants assurances from federal regulators that New Jersey‘s four nuclear reactors are safe.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney hears from Gov. Chris Christie

Menendez wrote Wednesday to the chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission asking if there are safeguards in place to prevent the type of crisis unfolding in Japan from happening in New Jersey.

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He noted that two of New Jersey’s four plants have the same design and containment systems as those damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

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The senator also asked if plants using this type of containment system can be operated safely without modifications.

The natural disasters knocked out backup power and cooling systems for the Japanese plants, and radiation has been released into the atmosphere.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports that Gov. Chris Christie has also expressed concern over nuclear material in the Garden State.

The Oyster Creek power plant is set to shut down in eight years.

What about storing that material when the plan closes? “I feel very strongly about the fact that maintaining that type of nuclear material in a shuttered plant for 60 years could be a danger to the safety and welfare of the people of New Jersey,” said Christie.

Christie has attached New Jersey to a lawsuit challenging the 60-year allowance for the storage of spent nuclear material, and he did that before the disaster in Japan.

Christie says, “We believe strongly in this protection of our environment. 30 years is more than enough for the federal government to figure out what they need to do with this stuff.”

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • Peppy

    WRONG Josh! Nuclear energy is dangerous and if we can send a man to the moon, why can’t we find an alternative to use other than nuclear energy???

    Japan was supposedly well prepared and their nuclear plants had the most modern effective nuclear plants in the world, yet look what is happening to them right now! We need clean, renewable energy and I know we can find it and implement it in our modern life.

    As for pro-nuclear Josh, I am sooooo sure, he would not want to live anywhere near a nuclear plant!

  • Josh

    Again, we have fear-mongering, environmental pandering at its worst. If you want to be free from foreign oil, you either have to dig more on our own soil or reduce usage of fossil fuels by going nuclear. France & Germany do it, we can do it too. We have to stop being a nation of people who sue and talk about “not in my backyard” and make some tough choices. Nuclear energy is as safe as any other source and is cleaner for the atmosphere. Nuclear plants also have considerably more security. You can’t stop a tsunami.

    • emiria

      you are so wrong. nuclear energy is not the cleanest. what about wind and solar energy did you forget about them? and deciding to use nuclear energy is not a tough choice, its a dump and lazy one.

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