PressTV reported today:
President Obama on Thursday ordered a “comprehensive” safety review of all the nuclear power plants in the U.S. in light of the current situation in Japan where high levels of radiation from quake-crippled reactors are threatening to spew-out disaster.
“I’ve asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to do a comprehensive review of the safety of our domestic nuclear plants in light of the natural disaster that unfolded in Japan,” Obama told reporters at the White House Rose Garden.
While this stops quite of bit short of the kind of moratorium that I think should be put in place, it is a major concession from Obama, whose support of nukes even during the ongoing Japanese disaster has been disturbing.
Obama also said:
“…when we see a crisis like the one in Japan, we have a responsibility to learn from this event and to draw from those lessons to ensure the safety and security of our people.”
The next step should be for Obama to announce that the NRC would not approve any new licenses for reactors nor grant any license extensions until the agency can complete a site-specific study for each existing and proposed reactor. The last thing we want is for the NRC to simply conclude that U.S. plants are unlikely to be hit by a major earthquake and tsunami. The study needs to include all kinds of potential causes for a loss-of-power accident, including natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, tornados and fires, and also man-made disasters including human error, transportation accidents, equipment failure and intentional acts of terrorism.
Now, we have to weather the inevitable parade of excuses and denial that the nuclear industry will use to try to convince us that a similar nuclear nightmare can’t happen here.It can and it will if we don’t do a thorough review of nuclear power in the United States.