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u.s. nuclear industry faces uncertainty

There are many lessons that the US can incorporate from the current Japanese nuclear crisis. Nuclear power that recently has grown in acceptance here in America, may now have an uncertain future as the ramifications unfold in Japan for public safety.

Environmental groups are reassessing their willingness to see nuclear power as a linchpin of any future climate change legislation. Mr. Obama still sees nuclear power as a major element of future American energy policy, but he is injecting a new tone of caution into his endorsement.

“The president believes that meeting our energy needs means relying on a diverse set of energy sources that includes renewables like wind and solar, natural gas, clean coal and nuclear power,” said Clark Stevens, a White House spokesman. “Information is still coming in about the events unfolding in Japan, but the administration is committed to learning from them and ensuring that nuclear energy is produced safely and responsibly here in the U.S.”

In Mr. Obama’s State of the Union address and in his budget, he proposed an expansion of nuclear energy technology and $36 billion in Department of Energy loan guarantees for the construction of as many as 20 new nuclear plants.

That policy will be on the table at a hearing of the Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, when Steven Chu, the energy secretary, and Gregory B. Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, are scheduled to testify.

via NY Times

photo via Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power plant near San Luis Obispo California

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