Crisis in Japan Strikes U.S. Nuclear Debate

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Earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan- who’s next? Some experts say it’s the U.S.

“The thing that most worries scientists is a threat of a huge earthquake along the southern end of the San Andreas fault. California faces a 94 percent probability of a magnitude 7 or greater quake in the next 30 years.”

But Americans are calling for more than steel enforced buildings. The media have fixated on the safety of nuclear power plants. A panel on Morning Joe discusses how events in Japan will frame America’s debate over nuclear energy.

“It’s going to be important that the public demand and the media demand that they be forthcoming about what the actual dangers and not sugar coat it and not try to gloss over the truth.”

Cable news shows brought in a slew of political leaders to weigh in on the American effects of the tragedy.

ED MARKEY (D-MA): “Well any plant that’s being considered for a seismically vulnerable area in the United States should be reconsidered right now.”

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): “We ought not make domestic policy based upon an event that happened in Japan.”

Still – a nuclear expert told NBC’s Chuck Todd fears of a meltdown in the states are unfounded.

“All of our power plants whether they’re in California which is a high earthquake area or in the Midwest or other places are required by the nuclear regulatory commission to design to be able to withstand the maximum credible earthquake.”

And before getting too carried away with safety concerns about nuclear energy, a blogger for Yglesias asks, is any energy production safe?

“While nuclear looks bad on safety grounds versus clean energy or efficiency, I don’t see any particular reason to see these safety concerns as more pressing than concerns around the fossil fuels that provide the majority of our energy.”


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Biomedical Engineering @ CWRU,USA
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