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US Nuclear Regulator: "Japan in Crisis but No Changes Needed in US"
AP reported on a meeting held by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission today.
Although the nuclear crisis is Japan is severe it does not warrant any immediate changes in U.S. nuclear plants, said Bill Bochardt, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's executive director for operations today.
He said officials have "a high degree of confidence" that operations at the 104 nuclear reactors in 31 states are safe adding that inspectors at each of the plants have redoubled efforts to maintain safety.
"I would say optimistically that things appear to be on the verge of stabilizing," said Borchardt, reporting on the situation in Fukushima, Japan.
The five-member commission has been reviewing the Japanese crisis and was set to approve a 90-day safety review of operations at U.S. nuclear plants to comply with a call last week by President Obama.
The meeting was held today to see if some lessons can be applied in the United States to ensure U. S. reactors remain safe.
There was some interesting discussion. Commissioner George Apostolakis wondered aloud why the NRC did not close some older nuclear plants, as Germany did. "Are we less prudent than the Germans?" he asked.
Borchardt's response was this:
"I'm 100 percent confident in the review that we've done and we continue to do every single day that we have a sufficient basis to ... conclude that the U.S. plants continue to operate safely."