Japan quake may alter where U.S. builds nuke plants

March 20, 2011

(Reuters) - Japan‘s nuclear crisis will influence where the United States builds its nuclear power plants, and the operation of a facility near New York City will be reviewed in the wake of the disaster, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Sunday.

“Certainly where we site reactors — and where we site reactors going forward — will be different than where we might have sited them in the past,” Chu said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Japan restored power to a crippled nuclear reactor on Sunday at the Fukushima power plant wrecked by an earthquake and tsunami in a step seen as crucial to attempts to cool it down and limit the leak of deadly radiation.

The crisis in Japan has prompted nations around the world to review their own nuclear power efforts.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he has ordered a comprehensive review of U.S. nuclear facilities, maintaining his support for nuclear energy while seeking to apply lessons from the situation in Japan.

Asked whether the Indian Point plant, located about 40 miles north of New York City, should continue operations in light of the events in Japan, Chu said, “We’re going to have to look at whether this reactor should remain.”

But he added that the decision was up to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and he believed the plant owned by Entergy Corp is safe.

The Indian Point plant in New York, on the banks of the Hudson River, could endanger 20 million people within a 50 mile- radius, including 8 million in New York City, if there were an accident on the scale of what occurred at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The Indian Point plant is situated near two geological fault lines. Entergy said it was built to withstand a 6.0 magnitude earthquake.

To read more, visit: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/20/us-nuclear-usa-idUSTRE72J2L820110320


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