Energy Secretary Defends U.S. Nuclear Industry

Obama’s budget includes $36 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear construction.

DOEWASHINGTON, D.C. – Energy Secretary Steven Chu sought to reassure Congress that America’s nuclear power plants are sufficiently protected against the kind of disaster now facing Japan.

He also insisted that, contrary to assertions of many skeptics within the environmental movement and elsewhere, nuclear power needs to play a key role in the development of a more balanced U.S. energy policy.

Chu said federal authorities responsible for overseeing U.S. nuclear plants have accounted for combined earthquake and tsunami scenarios similar to what led to the crisis in Japan.

“The American people should have full confidence that the United States has rigorous safety regulations in place to ensure that our nuclear power is generated safely and responsibly,” Chu told members of a House subcommittee. Officials are “committed to learning from Japan’s experience as we work to continue to strengthen America’s nuclear industry.”

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Source: Alan Silverleib and CNN Wire Staff |
Photo: U.S. Department of Energy