Energy Secretary Discusses Nuclear Energy Use
Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, joined Fox News Sunday to discuss the latest developments in Japan as well as the state of nuclear energy use in the US. Chu said about the crisis in Japan that he thinks with each passing hour, each passing day, things are more under control. Comparisons have been made to the Chernobyl disaster in Russia, where authorities made the decision to kill the nuclear reactor by entombing it in sand and cement. Chu said these are different circumstances. There is partial meltdowns in the three reactors. There may be a containment leak in one of them. But far less drastic things could be used to put it under control and to minimize the contamination. The Energy secretary also discussed the state of nuclear energy plants in the US. The last permit for construction of what is not a fully operational plant was issued back in 1978. Chu does not think the moratorium the US has had on nuclear plant construction has been harmful. He points to advancement in technologies and upgrades to US facilities to say he actually believes the contrary is true.
Anchor Chris Wallace asked Chu about the Indian Point plant which is situated less than 50 miles from midtown Manhattan, an area where more than 21 million people live. I think the evacuation plans of the Indian Point reactor will be looked at and studied in great detail. The Indian Point reactor is not in the situation like in Japan, but I think, again, we will be looking at whether those evacuation plans are adequate, Chu said. Pressed on the logistics of evacuating a population that dense, Chu added, I think that that is an issue. And again, we're going to have to look at whether this reactor should remain. But, again, I don't want to make any -- jump to some judgment about what we should do going forward, Asked whether the events in Japan are a game-changer, the secretary said, Any time there is a serious accident, we have to learn from those accidents and go forward.