As the Japanese continue their efforts to stabilize the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima and contain radiation, public concern has grown in the United States about existing nuclear plants such as New York’s Indian Point, and the Diablo Canyon and San Onofre nuclear plants in California, which lie near fault lines.
Today, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are reviewing U.S. nuclear safety regulations in light of the devastation following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Greg Jaczko and Department of Energy Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Pete Lyon provide an update on the ongoing review of U.S. nuclear plants at today’s Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Subcommittee. Jaczko has just returned from a trip to Japan and will brief the members on his visit.
The March 11 earthquake blacked out power to Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, disabled its cooling systems and damaged the reactor buildings, possibly breaching one of the containment vessels. The situation has made it difficult for workers to get close enough to fix the equipment without risking their health.
Scores of U.S. military and government officials have been sent to Japan to assist in relief efforts. The group is working directly with Japanese authorities on the nuclear threats.