Federal officials have accepted Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s petition to correct fire safety issues at the Indian Point nuclear plant in Westchester County.

Schneiderman’s office said this morning that the move could pave the way for federal authorities to compel plant owners Entergy to fix the issues.

“If Indian Point is vulnerable, so too are the tens of millions of people who live and work in the communities that surround it,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “My office has zero tolerance for violations that put New Yorkers at risk and will continue to take all necessary action to ensure the facility meets the safety requirements. I will continue my efforts to ensure the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission does the same.”

Among the problems Schneiderman said must be fixed:

-The facility has not installed required fire detectors or fire suppression systems in various locations;

-It has not strengthened electrical cables to withstand fire damage for one- to three-hours, a regulation established to provide necessary plant safety in the event of an emergency;

-It has not sufficiently separated electrical cables from one another to ensure that a fire would not damage both the primary and back up cables that control important safety systems; and

-Tather than installing automatic response systems, the facility would rely on employees performing a series of manual actions, which the NRC has not authorized as a means of adequately protecting nuclear facilities in the event of a fire.

Earlier this year, Schneiderman’s office sued the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for allowing NRC the storage of radioactive waste at nuclear power facilities for at least 60 years after they close without first conducting an environmental impact review.

This also isn’t the only foray into environmental law. Schneiderman is also suing the federal government over its review standards for hydraulic fracturing, the controversial natural gas extraction process.

2011 03 28 OAG 2-206 Petition Re Fire Safety