Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chu Obama promises to strengthen U.S. nuclear industry

President Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu has defended the record of nuclear power in the United States and pledged to "learn from the experience of Japan to further strengthen the nuclear industry in America" \u200b\u200b(in the words of Congress Chu .) "The plants have been designed to withstand certain levels of earthquakes," Obama has stated, told CBS.

"But that said, nothing is completely safe. So every time something like this happens, it is important to examine how we can improve safety and plant operation." Far from announcing a 'break' nuclear in the U.S., Obama has said that what happened in Japan should serve "to improve technologies and to address additional concerns about the security that people can have." According to the President, the Energy Regulatory Commission Nuclear is "constantly monitoring the seismic activity and assessing the risks." For his part, Energy Secretary Steven Chu has defended the need for nuclear energy pie in the future in the U.S., with projected growth of wind and solar.

Chu said it was "premature" to talk about how the accident may affect Japan's nuclear industry in the United States, two months after Obama Administration undertook to guarantee loans of up to 36,000 million dollars to build 20 new reactors . Outside voices like that of Rep. Ed Markey, who has warned that "the tragic event in Japan may very easily happen in America," Chu has said that the 104 operating commercial reactors, which generate 20% of energy consumed in the country-meet "the highest standards of safety." "The plants built near faults or coasts are designed to withstand twice the impact caused by an earthquake and a tsunami," he said, referring to the two plants of California-San Onofre and Diablo Canyon-erected in areas of high seismic activity.

Chu has said that in most cases, especially on the east coast, the plants have been built to withstand the most destructive earthquakes ever recorded in their respective areas. Since 1979, when the accident occurred at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania (with the partial melting of the core of one of its two reactors), has not built a new nuclear plant in the U.S..

In the first four projects that are intended to revive the industry, only one-the construction of two reactors in central Vogtle near Augusta (Georgia) - is progressing as planned. Chu predicted that Japan's tragedy will in any case for investors to "put a greater emphasis on security." Secretary of Energy reported that 30 experts in nuclear safety of his department are in Japan, AIST in emergency work in Fukushima and other nuclear plants.

United States has also sent dozens of equipment for detecting and measuring radiation. "We are deeply concerned about the effects of radiation in Japan," Obama said on his part. "There are dangers that the radioactive cloud could affect the area around the central and other parts of Japan.

But I have been assured that the risks will have been dispelled when you reach the coast Nipponese, and even more to the continental U.S." . Japan's nuclear crisis has revived the debate on nuclear safety. This Tuesday, the EU has decided to carry out voluntary resistance testing its nuclear plants, while promoting that these tests are also carried in other countries around the world, announced the European Commissioner for Energy, Gunther Oettinger .

For his part, German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to stop the older German plants. On Monday, the chancellor and took a turn in its energy policy and announced the suspension of the aging of its core (which was extended 12 years) and set a new deadline of three months which will make a kind of parenthesis in this plan.

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