The Associated Press March 21, 2011, 11:29AM ET

US Sen. Sanders: Slow down on nuclear relicensing

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling for a moratorium on the licensing of new nuclear plants and relicensing of existing ones, as well as other steps that would put the brakes on what's been touted as a nuclear renaissance in the United States.

The Vermont independent wrote to President Barack Obama asking for him to appoint a special commission to review the safety of U.S. nuclear plants following the nuclear disaster in Japan.

Sanders also wants to repeal a federal law that he says leaves the taxpayers to pick up most of the costs of a major nuclear accident. He says in a free-enterprise system, the nuclear industry should be required to insure itself against accidents.

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