Thursday, February 12, 2004
Nuclear groups question terrorist threat
Contend NRC official, Bush's address offer divergent appraisals
A top nuclear-safety official has said he wasn't aware that any American nuclear power plant diagrams were found in Afghanistan, despite a terrorist threat cited by President Bush in his State of the Union address two years ago.
Edward McGaffigan Jr., a member of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, responding to an environmental group's query, said this month that he testified in 2002 after the speech in at least one closed congressional hearing that he was not aware of any evidence that " `diagrams of American nuclear power plants' had been found in Afghanistan."
McGaffigan's statement has led some groups to assert that Bush either misled the country or mishandled the intelligence about the threat, because the NRC would be expected to play a pivotal role in safeguarding America's nuclear facilities.
If plans of US nuclear plants had been discovered, then the NRC should have been alerted to help prepare a security response, said James P. Riccio, a Greenpeace policy analyst who exchanged correspondence with McGaffigan....
Posted by JLT at 7:17 AM