By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
And making that assault is tougher than ever, advocates say. Aiming a plane at a low-lying reactor is hardthe high profile people see is the cooling towerand now fighter planes scramble when anything in the air looks suspicious. Small planes have been escorted down, and even a medevac helicopter was grounded when it suddenly changed course. Nor are airline passengers the patsies they once were, Nesbit notes. When word spread of the ongoing attacks, people on Flight 93 took on the terrorists and brought the plane down from within.
Not everyone in Washington is comforted. Public Citizen, a group founded by Ralph Nader, has wanted reactors shut long before September 11. "Nuclear power is dangerous and unsafe and unclean and uneconomical, and it was on September 10," asserts Hugh Jackson, a policy analyst with the group.
The worst may be yet to come, he fears, as spent fuel from decommissioned plants gets shipped to a central storage facilityYucca Mountain in Nevada is the prime candidate. One of the state's senators, Harry Reid, is the powerful majority whip. Capitol Hill sources say Reid might run interference on Price-Anderson. He's been growling about the Yucca plan, noting the seismic activity in the area.
To say nothing of getting the material there safely. With the NRC admitting that highly radioactive spent fuel rods sometimes go missing, as at Connecticut's Millstone plant, that's a lot of time on the open road.