Energy Secretary Concerned for Americans in Japan

Sunday, 20 Mar 2011 10:25 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Energy Secretary Steven Chu says while there is no danger to the United States or its territories from radiation emanating from nuclear reactors in Japan, there is concern about how U.S. citizens there might be affected. Chu also said on “Fox News Sunday” regulators Steven Chu,Japan,Nuclear,Earthquake,Tsunamiwill study where future U.S. reactors should be placed.

“I think with each passing hour, with each passing day, things are more under control, and step-by-step they are making very good progress,” Chu said. “The people in the United States and U.S. territories are in no danger – it’s unlikely they will be exposed to danger – there is some concern about U.S. citizens in Japan; we’re monitoring the situation very closely.

“Certainly where we site reactors going forward will be different than where we might have sited them in the past,” Chu said. “But I don’t want to make a judgment about what we’re going to do going forward.”

The energy secretary also said that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was justified in wanting to re-evaluate operation of the Indian Point reactor, located about 34 miles from New York City.

Host Chris Wallace asked whether Japanese electric power authorities delayed the mitigation process when deciding not to use seawater as a coolant, because they did not want to destroy the reactors.

“I don’t know the exact chronology, but my understanding was [they] very soon after began to use seawater to cool the reactor, and that was the right decision,” Chu said. “And you are quite right – once you use seawater those reactors are not recoverable. But the most important thing was to keep those reactors cool, and that’s the step they took.”

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