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March 14th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Should Japan earthquake stop future construction of nuclear power plants?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Inspectors from all over the world are trying to figure out how dangerous the Japan nuclear situation actually is. It can't be good: hydrogen explosions, fuel rods exposed, reactors overheating, radioactive vapor being released into the atmosphere.

The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency said today the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi power plants is unlikely to become another Chernobyl. Really? Why is my BS detector on red alert? And what happens if a series of major aftershocks rock that region?

France's nuclear watchdog today said the situation at Fukushima is worse than Three Mile Island, the 1979 meltdown at a plant in central Pennsylvania. That was the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history so far.

No one was injured at Three Mile Island and no one died, but the situation was considered so serious that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ramped up safety standards after the accident and stopped the construction of new reactors for about 30 years.

But we've got growing demand for energy in this country… and nuclear power has been poised to make a sort of comeback. In the past few years a handful of power companies have applied for permits to build new reactors.

Republican Congressman Devin Nunes of California introduced a bill earlier this month that would call for the construction of 200 new nuclear reactors by the year 2040. President Obama has touted nuclear power, saying it may be part of the solution to the energy and global warming issues facing the U.S.

It all sounded good until last Friday in Japan. Now you can bet approval for new nuclear construction will be hard to come by whether the world is running out of oil or not.

Here’s my question to you: Should the Japan earthquake stop any future construction of nuclear power plants?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Robert in Formoso, Kansas:
Yes, but not necessarily for the obvious reason. Before building additional power plants, we must first be able to safely dispose of the spent fuel product. Hiding it in tin cans in abandoned salt mines is not the answer. "Out of sight, out of mind" will not work for future inhabitants of the planet.

Tom:
Not at all. If anything, this is a chance for us to learn how to make better, safer nuclear power plants. We learn by failure, and this is something that can help prevent things like this from happening in the future.

Dave in Huntington, New York:
The reason your BS detector is on "red alert" is because the captain of the nuclear powered aircraft carrier that was sent to help, took one look at the radiation levels of returning planes and got his boat outta there ASAP. The intelligent thing to do would be to stop the construction of Fission reactors and work on developing Fusion reactors – they are safe, do not generate toxic waste and use abundant fuel. Our sun is a giant fusion reactor and we bask in that all our lives.

David:
No, it shouldn't, but it probably will. An interesting question recently came up on another forum about the terrible disasters of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, which was "how many people died?" The answer was zero at 3 mile island, while some 50 died as a direct result of Chernobyl.

Paul:
A popular question, but no, I don't think so. Nuclear power has been around since the 1950's with plants located all around the world. And outside of Chernobyl, there have been no major breaches or catastrophes. How many oil spills have we had? It’s also the only viable, efficient source of energy outside of fossil fuels. Renewable energy is still developing and not there yet. And until it is, we can't do without it.

Jeremy in Albany, Georgia:
Definitely shouldn’t affect new construction on nuclear power plants. The odds of having issues such as Japan is very slim, just like Japan’s chances. Nuclear power is way cleaner and more cost effective than coal burning powerhouses and also put a lot of people to work during and after construction.


Filed under: Japan earthquake • Nuclear power
soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. Jack In Chicago

    No, we need the fuel they provide. What we need to do is make certain our iwn plants are not located near fault lines. Seems like 'DUH!' momwnt if there ev er one was.

    March 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  2. Loren, Chicago

    No, but it should give them pause about their design. It seems absurd that the critical element in their design, the cooling system, shouldn't have a better back-up mechanism, particularly in such a geologically active zone.

    March 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  3. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    I 'think' it was the "Tsunami" that done'm in!
    How many soldiers have 'we' lost fighting for oil or the rights to it?
    How much have 'we' spent doing it?

    If we'd spent the same resources on 'green energy' we wouldn't have to be worrying about either.

    March 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  4. Marvin in Polo Mo

    Jack, No, the coal companies are going to use the disaster in Japan and their lobbyists to shove their Clean Coal down our throats or should I say lungs?

    March 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  5. RichP, easton, pa

    No, we need to look at what failed and build any new plants so that it does not happen again, learn from our mistakes.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  6. Paul P.

    A popular question, but no, I don't think so. Nuclear power has been around since the 50's with plants located all around the world...and outside of Chernobyl, there have been no major breaches or catastrophes. How many oil spills have we had? Its also the only viable, efficient source of energy outside of fossil fuels. Renewable energy is still developing and not there yet...and until it is, we can't do without it. The more people listen to experts talk about how it works, the more we might realize its safer than we think.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  7. Bill from Clinton, Maryland

    There's always risk involved. Once this country of ours gets set in its ways, it's hard to stop or change anything. We love being addicted to things that kill us. Unfortunately, the earthquake in Japan is not a deterrent for other country's (us included) to stop constructing Nuclear Power Plants.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    There are 2 considerations, there.

    One, is that coastal areas, are too prone to disaster to have such plants in coastal plains.

    Two, it should be obvious that none should be built in areas of known faults, likely to be susceptible to earthquakes.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  9. Robert Sloan

    yes, but not necessarily for the obvious – before building additional powerplants we must first be able to safely dispose of the spent fuel product. Hiding it in tin cans in abandoned salt mines is not the answer..."out of sight, out of mind" will not work for future inhabitants of the planet. RS, Formoso, Ks.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  10. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    If we stop building reactors then maybe we should stop building cars and not allow anyone to drive in the future. This lame kind of reaction and thinking is dumb. We need to learn from it and apply what we've learned.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  11. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I don't think so Jack. We certainly need to look at what happened in Japan and build future plants with that in mind but we can not afford to delay clean energy production any longer. Oil and coal kill people too just not as many at one time like a Tsunami. Instead we kill them one or two at a time with black lung, mine cave in's and air pollution. There are no completely safe sources of energy just some are better then others.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  12. Brian, San Diego, CA

    No. Even after an 8.9 earthquake and all the system failures, the safety systems at the Fukushima plant have still been sufficient to prevent any significant radiation leakage. This is a testament to the efficacy of our nuclear safety technology, not to the perceived unsafe nature of nuclear power. Heck, the U.S. Navy has operated dozens of nuclear reactors for decades without incident, and those designs have to account for the potential of battle damage.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  13. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    This administration makes its decisions on the basis of science and logic. Research shows that solar, wind, hydro and geothermal are job generators with virtually no negatives. A Union of Concerned Scientists risk assessment of nuclear energy says it doesn't fare as well.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  14. Gary H. Boyd

    The short answer is NO Jack, but building them on or near earthquake faults and bodies of water subject to seismic conditions should be done only with the greatest deliberation and planning. That certainly applies to nations on the Pacific Rim. We here in Arizona happen to have America's largest nuclear reactor at Palo Verde which is in the desert 50 miles west of Phoenix, pretty well isolated. and with little or no earthquake activity. All factors that make it realistic.

    Gary Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    March 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  15. Joan G

    Tough question to answer. Perhaps we should go back so 50 yrs and live simple lives when people actually were much happier. Perhaps back to the horse and buggy days. Look at how we have polluted the air with planes (airplanes use the dirtiest fuel on this earth as my brother del'd the crap), rockets, space shuttles, and all the junk we have left in space that affects the precision movements of the earth and perhaps weather.
    Joan
    Wi

    March 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  16. Kevin in CA

    No it shouldn't. However, this incident just killed any hope of new nuke plants in the United States – BP, et al wins.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  17. Bob Kobs

    Absolutely. What is needed now is wind and solar.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  18. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    Don’t even consider it until they can honestly prove our present nuclear power plants can withstand a natural disaster that won't spew death dealing radiation over thousands of square miles. One wonders if our plants are as vulnerable as Japan’s.
    In the meantime go buy oil and coal stocks.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  19. Louis Patyk

    In Japan? Yes! In the U.S.? No. There was no earthquake or tusnmie at Three mile ialand.

    If enough redunance can be built into them to increase the running of them safely and some one wants to spend the money on them, go for it.

    However, I must add this, Uranium is not a renuable resourse. There is a finiate amt. of ore in the world and almost none in the U.S..

    It is mined elsewhere and under conditions that boarder on slavery. It is not without cost. I does cost lifes, just not here.

    We need a lasting, safe source of energy, or stop procreating, end the human race. Me I would opt for the former rather than the last. LP

    March 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  20. Pete from Georgia

    location, location, location.
    That is the key factor to consider. Away from ocean shorelines and/or known earthquake faultline zones.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  21. lou

    Only in earthquake supseptable areas. And avoid tornado alleys. And maybe areas with extreme heat or extreme cold. Make sure there are no rivers around so contaminated stuff couldn't flow out of the area. And definately avoid areas where there is any wind current at all, so radiation wouldn't be able to spread. Other than that, go for it.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  22. Harold in Anchorage,AK

    We could prevent traffic deaths and curtail much of greenhouse gases by stopping production of automobiles and trucks. And we could go back to squaremasted cargoships, etc.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  23. Sylvia from San Diego

    No. However, the fail safe back up systems need redundancy.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  24. Moseania

    No. As long as u can build it away from your population and take all the necessary precautions u don't have to fear.,

    March 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  25. Conor in Chicago

    The earthquake should not stop new contruction. The very fact that the term "Nuclear" is involed should stop construction of new plants.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  26. Stephen Paul

    No it's the only answer for us power wise at this time. Risk analysis wasn't appropriat in Japan and likely isn't in the USA either. Moving the backup generators to a high protected spot should have kept the electricity on in these nuke plants. France seems to do this quite well at least that's one thing they do well. Getting GE and Halliburton out of this business would make me feel better. THe double risk standard should apply. WHy build to a know earthquake level when 2x or 3x would have make certain the units would not break down and runaway. Please people keep nuclear energy as a positive thing in your minds.

    Steve
    Nashville, In

    March 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  27. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I live between 3 Mile Island and Peach Bottom nuclear power plants and felt fairly safe until I seen what happened in Japan. I think production on new nuclear plants should be stopped until we're certain that we can prevent a melt down from happening. Being almost sure doesn't cut it when you have lives and destruction in question that a melt down can cause.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  28. Jenna

    Should the Japan earthquake stop any future construction of nuclear power plants?

    YES. Jack, until they find a way to not have meltdowns of any knd then they should not be built.

    They are blaming the Japan incident on human error, with Japan's many earthquakes, how come there is was not an automatic over-ride to protect the rods?

    Nuclear power is NOT safe yet.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    PS We closed ourlocal Nuclear plant because it was not safe enough.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  29. J.D., Vancouver, British Columbia

    No. As a civilization we long ago signed on to the priciple of acceptable risk. Automobiles, alcohol and tobacco kill more people than wars these days; massive oil spills destroy habitats and livelihoods; industrial pollutants kill our young and our old. It's the acceptable bargain we make for the modern, fast-paced lifestyle that drives an acceptable percentage of us mad.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  30. Annie, Atlanta

    That's a no-brainer, Jack. If the Japanese can't do it right, nobody can.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  31. riley oday

    NO. Find out want went wrong and improve the design.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  32. Stella-Northern New York

    Yes Jack. You can't get any better than Japan when it comes to being prepared for nuclear power plant failures caused by Mother Nature. And yet as good as they are Mother Nature proves once again that no country is prepared for the "UNKNOWN". I think its time to start over. Can you beat Mother Nature and if you don't, how many lives will be considered "expendable"? I hope our country takes a SLOW and HARD look at the future of Nuclea Power Plants here.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  33. Ken tripp

    No. They need better back up plans, I.e diesel generators that cannot be touched by tsunami waves. The nuclear plants did not fail, back up plans failed them.
    If we stop nuclear plants, then let's stop guns since they killed 2700 people since Tucson.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  34. Daniela velasco

    It would be the smartest thing to do, we are putting world population at risk, ok we may not polute so much with nuclear energy but where do we leave all the nuclear material, underground? what about radiation, what about an accident, explotion that could end with many lifes, that would be worst than burning Co2. People are just looking for a short term solution they are not looking in the long term and the future and peace of humanity we have to invest more in clean energies, like solar, heolic, wind energy, hidroelectric plants, etc. this is the best solution, this is the long term solution with not so many risks, we have to invest to find better ways to keep and distribute the energy, and make it a permanent source of energy.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  35. Bud Rupert

    I think Nuclear can makes us energy independent with minimum risk.
    The French have done it and so should we. Plus it will create jobs, jobs, jobs. From I read 20% of our energy is already provided by Nuclear. Let make it 100%.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  36. David in Tampa

    Stop...No, Slow down...Yes. Design better and build better systems.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  37. HJ

    Um. Does it really make sense to blame the safety of these powerplants when it took an 8.9 earthquake to cause them to malfunction? Far more people were affected simply standing in the street. Maybe we should ban homes being built, because people were killed in their homes....

    March 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  38. john collins

    Ask about background radiation and how it increases not just in the area but in time around the world. Each release increases background radiation which means the instruments that are used to detect radiation on and in the body must be set higher which will not allow the detection of anything less then the new high. instruments must be zeroed to the new high contamination on and in the body that could have been detected years ago can no longer be detected, say after Trinoble.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  39. Jose G Baldassini

    Japan earthquake should not stop construction of nuclear power plants. Nuclear power is part of the scientific evolution of humanity. Certainly, technology should learn from past experience... and create safer nuclear installations. There were many terrible accidents in the scientific evolution, such as in the shuttle, submarine, airplane, etc. It is part of the American 'power of creativity' to conquer nature, not to accept defeat.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  40. Alvah Brown

    No way. This is the electrical power generation of the future no matter what the renewable energy idiots think. solar and wind sound great but take up a lot of space and if the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow you get squat!
    Al Brown-Gorham, NH

    March 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  41. J.D., Vancouver, British Columbia

    No. As a civilization we long ago signed on to the priciple of Acceptable Loss. Automobiles, alcohol and tobacco kill more people than wars these days; massive oil spills destroy habitats and livelihoods; industrial pollutants kill our young and our old. It's the acceptable bargain we make for the modern, fast-paced lifestyle that drives an acceptable percentage of us mad.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  42. Kim Smith

    No, but it should teach us not to build them in such unstable areas.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  43. Greg of Mechanicsburg PA

    Nuclear power plants need to be a part of the total solution to breaking our independence on oil. If there is one thing for certain it is that someday we will run out of oil. We need to remember that not all areas are subject to earthquakes and tsunamis and great improvements in design and procedures have been made as a result of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. We need to be selective about where we build the new reactors, not just away from unstable geological zones, but away from population centers. Japan had little option where it could build its plants and is now paying the ultimate price. Ironic, the China Syndrome in Japan.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  44. andrew

    No, we just have to be smart about where we place them, like not on a fault line. One of the biggest tree huggers in the country, Van Jones, understands that the US can never provide enough clean power without Nuclear as the base of our power production.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  45. Deb in MT

    At the very least, we should never allow nuclear power plants to be built close to active faults. Rather, we should encourage the development of other forms of energy generation: wind, solar, tidal & biomass– you know, those "green" forms of energy that don't have a prayer of serious development here as long as the oil/gas/coal/nuke people hold sway.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  46. Ray in Knoxville

    No, Jack. We have to get ourselves off of oil and coal and nuclear is one part of the answer. Clearly, we have to be careful where we build nuclear power plants, but we need to proceed.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  47. Mark in Oklahoma City

    No, but it might be a good idea to stop building them on earthquake faults, especially on the pacific "ring of fire".

    March 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  48. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Yes it sholud. Once again we have proven to ourselves that we do not have the technical means tp safely build a nuke power plant that is safe. If anything if one was built you'd have to admit to being on borrowed time until something happens.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  49. carlos Magallanes

    Dear Mr. Cafferty.
    The answer is an unequivocal "NO!" At least not as commonly built above ground. Maybe if they were built at least 500 feet under ground and could be instantly buried in case of a catastrophic meltdown.
    C.M. Magallanes
    Pasadena,Ca.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  50. Karen in Colorado

    Oh, puleeeez. You can count on one hand the number of nuclear plant accidents and disasters worldwide. But deaths and environmental disasters resulting from coal, oil and gas operations are accepted collateral damage. How many US oil, gas and coal facilities today can survive a significant earthquake and subsequent tsunami? They can't even operate safely under normal conditions because they aren't as carefully regulated and inspected like US nuclear plants.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  51. Minesh - Troy, MI

    No Jack. Obviously the loonies in the environmentalist movement will call for moratorium on drilling, nuclear plants and coal plants. Maybe we should go back to horse-buggies and candles.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  52. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    NO. But maybe it would be a good idea to NOT build them on fault lines!

    What we do need to do is make the nuclear plants SAFER. There can be absolutely no corner-cutting, no sub-standard constructonn and no chance that safety issues are ignored for profit. That is the challenge we face, as in some cases the contractors may look harder at their bottome line, than at the safe construction. This is an area where intelligence, not the almighty dollar, must rule.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  53. s in fl

    Nuclear energy is too volatile and an unnecessary risk as an energy source. I realize that it's great road for adding corporate toll boths at every bend, but even without the risk of a meltdown, the waste itself is a risk to humans that cannot be easily controlled and contained. And the risk doesn't go away. Ever. Maybe down the road we'll have the understanding and technology, but for now there are plenty of other free and risk-free alternatives.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  54. David Rand

    USA needs nuclear power. Americans always over-react to danger. We seem to get in our own way on developing as a nation. Nuclear is a necessary source of power. Anyone that thinks that solar and wind is sufficient, is just being ignorant to the facts.

    If France can be 60% reliant on nuclear, why can't the USA?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  55. Stephen of Florida

    Absolutely the US should hold off of construction of new plants. Nuclear power is not a safe alternative to fossil fuels. Some people say that it is the cleaner alternative, but look at all the radioactive waste that is produced. Only to be... buried and alter the landscape, by contaminating the water supply, etc. There is no region that is not natural disaster prone, and if its not an earthquake, it could be a hurricane, tornado, or other strong storm. I agree with Greenpeace in saying, "Nuclear power is always unsafe." We don't want another mistake like Chernobyl.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  56. Sean McCoshen

    NO WAY! Not in my backyard please!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  57. Brad

    I dont think they should be stopped from building them but I do believe they need to come up with some better safety regulations.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  58. Norah Carmichael

    Absolutely not. Nuclear plants can safely be built elsewhere not in high earthquake and tsunami zones ... plus I saw someone on CNN this weekend that said the newest nuclear generators are completely safe from natural disasters and terrorist attacks ... let's here more about that new technology.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  59. sean

    Absolutely.

    Let's put our resources into education and develop some brilliant thinkers who will find ways of making nuclear energy obsolete.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  60. MK

    No. Life is not free of risk. We cannot expect all the comforts in life with zero risk.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  61. Victoria Mudd

    We should absolutely NOT be building new nuclear plants, or re-licensing the old ones. Too much corruption in the licensing process to assure the highest safety standards. Invest in wind and solar....it will never kill you when something malfunctions.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  62. Robert

    If they are built properly, and away from cities and major fault lines, nuclear power plants can help greatly until we bring solar and wind more fully online and finally crack clean fusion. The key is: Built properly and in safe, isolated areas!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  63. George F, Southgate, Michigan

    Absolutely Not Jack, we need much more Nuclear Power if we want unlimited services and less reliance on oil!!!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  64. susan

    Yes, yes, yes! Stop now. Let this force us to find other alternatives to our energy needs. Humans are certainly creative enough to do it.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  65. James Haning

    It is not the nuclear energy production that is the issue, but rather the placement and conditions where such power is generated that must be considered.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  66. Doug Reichlin

    Nuclear power is unsafe and very expensive. There is no solution to the waste disposal problem. The answer is "NO".

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  67. Tom C

    Not at all. If anything, this is a chance for us to learn how to make better, safer nuclear power plants. We learn by failure, and this is something that can help prevent things like this from happening in the future.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  68. Robert Williams

    Good Afternoon,

    The issues occuring at the Nuclear facilities in Japan should have no more affect on stopping construction of new plants anymore than that horrioble bus crash in New York should stop bus tours.

    We just need to make sure the right safety regulations are in place.

    Regards
    Robert Williams

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  69. Jim

    Sure Jack, we should stop all nuclear plant construction, afterall that is what you want to hear. While we are at it, we need to stop all oil production, we saw what happened in the Gulf. Oh, let's stopoil refineries too, there have been some explosions.

    In fact Jack, if we cannot gurantee 100% safety on anything then we need to stop. Let's go back to horse and wagons, oh wait we had accidents with them too. Let's go back a bit further, I know back to the caves I think our inventions were safe then.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  70. Cheryl

    No. We should learn from the disaster in Japan to improve nuclear power plant construction, safety, system redundancy and contingency plans.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  71. greg lancaster,tx

    no. but maybe no nuclear plants should be built in areas that don't wonder if there will be a killer quake but rather when there will be a killer quake. Japan needs to find a better place to build their nuclear power plants.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  72. Sherryll Mleynek

    It is a matter of consequences whether or not we pursue nuclear power: the consequence of an accident is unacceptably high for most people. Fukushima may turn out to be a lucky dodge of a major calamity–or not. Just because we can split an atom does not mean we ought to split an atom.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  73. Nathan

    The incident in Japan should influence reactor design, but we should not over react. If you look at the data the Japanese reactors have held up quite well given the scale of this earthquake.

    More people have been killed by explosions at the fossil fuel plants then have been injured at the nuclear power plants in Japan.

    On the question of who's backyard to build? Let's offer lower electricity rates the closer one is to a reactor.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  74. Don DeLaCruz

    Yes. Nuclear is also full of carbon footprint. From the mining, transport, refining, and 15 years of constructing.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  75. Jamie

    We still have no safe way to dispose of waste. Many are built on fault lines. It would only have to happen once to kill thousands. Stupid is as stupid does and building more plants is just plain stupid.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  76. steve calo

    The answer is not to build more plants or drill more, but rather to use less. Think of this country as a whole, all the wasted energy , everywhere you look there is waste on a massive level. Let's face it , we are oil/energy gluttons and the mentalily must change! You don't hear anyone in Washington D.C. advocating conservation. All you hear is that we should resume offshore drilling along our precious coasts , , tap the resources in Alaska and so on. I have not heard one politician call for conservation. Conservation sould be part of the daily dialogue from the top , down. instead of DRILL , DRILL, DRILL.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  77. jeff in hawaii

    Jack,

    No. While history shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men, the earthquake in Japan is not the reason nuclear power production should be halted. It's how we deal with the waste that needs to be addressed.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  78. Sidney Hale

    No, it should not.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  79. Jim

    No, it is a clean and cheap source of energy. You don't build reactors om a earthquake fault, especially 50 + in Japan.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  80. Hal Summers

    Until there are solar panels on every rooftop in the US we shouldn't consider any new nuclear power plants.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  81. jeremy johnson from albany ga

    Definately shouldnt affect new construction on nuclear power plants. The odds of having issues such as Japan is very slim, just like Japans chances. Nuclear power is way cleaner and more cost effective than coal burning powerhouses and also put a lot of people to work during and after construction

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  82. Jim Davis

    Jack-
    Thats like asking if we should stop drilling in light of the BP oil disaster in the gulf. Every noteworthy endeavor requires some element of risk. The question we should be asking is how to minimize the effects of taking that risk when all hell breaks loose.

    Jim
    Luray, VA

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  83. ROBERT V. GAULIN

    Nuclear power may, indeed, be part of the answer to the world's energy needs. However, in light of Japan's nuclear plant meltdown, countries would be irresponsible to build any new plants without irrefutable evidence that such a disaster could never again occur.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  84. andrews

    Every construction of nuclear plant should stop asap. We should not gamble, this is no Texas holdem. All standards should be tripled.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  85. Jonathan Evans

    Nuclear power, for all its faults, is still cheaper and safer than energy from fossil fuels. When you factor in particulate pollution, mercury, respiratory problems, and global warming, burning fossil fuels causes in aggregate more environmental and health damage than nuclear power.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  86. Joe

    We don't stop driving cars when they wreck and we don't stop flying in airplanes when they crash. We need to be prudent in the design and construction and we need capable safety measures in place. Then we move forward with more construction and use of nuclear power.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  87. Bob

    It should not stop us from building nuclear power plants. We do not need knee-jerk reactions similar to what occurred with the BP oil spill where we ended up with a drilling moratorium. We need to become energy independent. It is critical to our country's future.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  88. Chris Wietecha

    Nuclear power plants are the worlds future of energy. Why would we stop all future plans of contruction? I think this earthquake should be a wake up call for future construction. We should build these power plants earthquake proof, and begin experimenting on how to make it so that this would not happen at any new plants. These plants should be able to withstand earthquake.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  89. Richard C.

    We should continue building nuke plants. We need the energy. If we listen to the left wing-nuts, we must scrap all the plans for new ones, and discontinue use of oil and coal. Their alternatives are not yet practical or affordable.
    Can we not over-react yet again?
    Malvern,PA.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  90. Adeeb

    In New Zealand where I live we believe nuclear power is not the answer but the problem. Japan's disaster has now proved our point to some degree. Please stop all future construction of nuclear power plants.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  91. Derek

    Absolutely not. No man made structure can handle a massive nearly 9.0 quake as that. Considering the safe guards in place and modern technology it could have been a lot worse. The emergency shutdown worked as well as the mechanism to soak in the neutrinos. it could of seriously been a lot worse.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  92. Travis

    The Nuclear plants in Japan currently compromised are over 30 years old. Last night one of your experts expressed the opinion that a modern plant would not be having these kinds of issues. Therefore, to question the building of new nuclear plants seems silly based on the current crises.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  93. John McCabe

    Absolutely not! Nuclear power is safe, clean and soon to be abundant. Reactionaries in Congress will cry chicken little for the next several months, jeopardizing one of the best avenues off of the foreign energy merry-go-round.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  94. Benjamin

    Hey Jack,

    I'm german and as you possibly know our government will now debate on shutting down the powerplants in germany. So I think that the possibilities of other enrgy sources like sun or wind are huge and those should be forced and the nuclear power should be left behind

    greetings from germany

    Benjamin

    My thoughts are with the people in japan.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  95. nathaniel Raymond Pope III

    Nathaniel Pope
    Euless, TX
    With energy demands on the rise, i believe well be begging for more energy. give it a couple of months and well forget about this disaster just like the disaster at haiti. the only reason why. all this nuclear talk is going on is because of the news and the possible meltdown. but with us aid i doubt that the nuclear disaster will become a Chernobyl disaster. this will go back to normal before you know it.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  96. Jacque (Oregon)

    Yes, Yes and yes. At least in the U.S. as long as we continue to have the kind of corporate controlled government that allows corporations like Haliburton to continue to have no-bid contracts and regulatory agencies like those that were supposed to be monitoring BP and off shore oil drilling. At least Japan seems to have been better in that field of their operations.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  97. Brian

    ABSOLUTELY NOT.
    The only thing the media has contributed is to this topic is mass hysteria. The current troubled reactor in Japan is well over 30 years old and has survived many earthquakes in Japan- it took a major earthquake and tsunami for it to end up in this condition and even still- the worst case scenario of a full reactor containment breach is minimal.

    All this question does is further delay America's development of new energy sources. How about instead of asking these scary questions- give some real scientists and real physicists a full hour to explain to the American people exactly what is going on instead of repeating the world meltdown over and over again.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  98. Bob O'Brien in Jacksonville

    No, nuclear must be part of our long term solution. Let's get all the tree huggers to turn off their power and give up their cars and maybe the demand would be reduced enough so we don't need additional supply.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  99. Scott hooten

    Nope, if you have a bad incident with any other power source you have a black outs for days and it's over. With nukes you have years of devastation.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  100. Nikola Stamenkovski

    Absolutely not. They are an essential part of the energy structure of first world countries, and especially in the US where so much of our energy comes from other countries. What's necessary is careful construction that guarantees protection from mother nature's cruelest actions.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  101. Felando

    Yes, lawmakers should support the building of more nuclear powerplants, but also support building them in their backyards, close to their homes. I am sure they will be built safer, and I am also sure those same lawmakers would find a convenient reason to move. On television, I see opinions primarily from the Power Plant companies saying US plants are safe, but remember BP?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  102. suezi in ohio

    i think that with drilling oil with no safety procedures, and now nuclear meltdowns with no safety procedures is a wakeup call for the human race. If we are going to spend money going green, then the government better start spending it in the right places and make our country a safer place to live. So i think that building more nuclear power plants is a big fat no no

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  103. Just a Dude

    I don't think it should. We should just increase the security measures we put in place on new plants, and perhaps revisit older ones.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  104. Tom Trifaux

    The disaster in Japan is a sobering event for the world. This does not mean, in my opinion, all progress in Nuclear Power that has been achieved over the past decades needs to be abandondoned. Prudent placement of Nuclear Power plants on solid bedrock locations should continue. Those of us that have gotten use to electricity know Nuclear Power generation will be an importnat part of our future.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  105. Alex Oliveira

    This is precisely the kind of reactionary nonsense that I knew would happen when this began. When will we stop making decisions in the intoxication of the moment?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  106. Grady Reid

    This accident in Japan should not stop the US from adding more nuclear plants...this is the age old knee jerk reaction. Should we stop allowing tour busesfrom operation based on what happened in the recent New York bus accident!!!!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  107. ronvan

    Dear Jack: What to do? It appears that Japan has done their very best in dealing with their power plants but mother nature always shows us what she can do. This should put alot attention on wind & solar power. My hopes and prayers for Japan.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  108. Wallace

    There's more than one type of nuclear reactor. We should focused on developing "Pebble bed reactors" which are more efficient, create less waste, and are meltdown proof.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  109. Jane Cullen

    Halting the construction of nuclear power would be a severe over-reaction to the incident. This over-reaction is based on fear and ignorance (like all over-reactions). My opinion is that nuclear power must be a part of our energy policy. When you calculate the compounded damage environmentally and medically of coal, oil exploration, and natural gas it far outweighs lives impacted by this event.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  110. Martin Grant

    No. No more so than a coal mine explosion in China should stop our use of coal. Should we ban use of Natural Gas because a pipe line explodes?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  111. Matthew from Orange, Ca

    Japan should halt all construction on nuke plants. I mean, there's a chance a meteor could hit the country! Or a comet! Or another 8.9 earthquake for the second time this century. Now I'm going to go drive my car in California where my chances of death are significantly greater. And that's just from breathing the air!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  112. Thomas Bradley

    Hey Jack, Im Tom from the UK, i dont live near a nuclear power plant, i know that they are a good idea given the current pressures of emmisions and global warming, they seem like the resolution, however untill we are able to harness this unstable material and use it to a degree where by if something e.g. a meltdown, explosion, power cut occured, the next step would be wot were used to and everything stops, it seems theres no fail safe for these reactors, simply only control, but not complete control, i suggest buildng them underground?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  113. Bruce, CA.

    Jack –

    It SHOULD – it WON'T & unfortunately with our demand – it CAN'T.

    The SCARE of what happened to Japan – will halt things about as long as a RECALL of a product does...

    Buy your hard hat now, Jack & update your will.

    Best,

    Bruce

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  114. Robby Bowling

    No but it will. This country has the cry wolf syndrome we'll just wine about it and do nothing. That's all we do anymore. We have all the natural gas and coal we can use but we want do that either. At the end of the day we will talk and discuss, have hearings and more hearings and do nothing cause that's what we good at. I have lost hope for this country's ability to do anything except make things worse.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  115. John R McCarey

    Yes we should stop considering more nuc plants. The problem with the nuc plants is the devestation when something goes wrong. Anything that is made by man is prone to things going wrong.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  116. Roderick White

    A big NO. We can truly benefit from Nuclear power, and hopefully we too allow the spent fuel to be reused and recycled as they do everywhere else in the world. The plants in Japan are 40 years old and they have contained most likely 99% of radiation that has been produced due to the partial meltdown. Newer plants built will be even more safe and reliable due to better technology. I live in west Virginia and see on a daily basis the ravages of coal mining in our state, some locations look like a lunar moonscape due to mountain top removal that is taking place even as I type. Thanks, RW

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  117. Josh

    Absolutely not! If it is a clean alternative to oil, then we should never disclude this as an option. If we are going to change anything, then making nuclear power plants safer from natural as well as other disasters. Didn't one of the experts say that if these were top of the line reactor, then this wouldn't even be an issue?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  118. Shawn IL

    No it shouldn't halt new construction. Throughout history new types of energy have been discovered along with the risks that come with them. No matter what type of energy, risk comes with them all.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  119. Madison

    I believe that we should continue building Nuclear Power Plants. They are a solution to our energy problems. We have had many oil problems that have endangered many things but we proceed to deal with oil. This is a problem that we can use to make our plants safer.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  120. Ken

    Yes.
    I am tired of these "experts" talking about relative safety. The consequences of a nuclear accident outweigh the arguments. We should be putting all of our resources into safer technologies.

    Why is corporate America so resistant to "green" power generation?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  121. CJ

    Construction of nuclear power plants should be halted until a solution for storing radioactive rods is found. Good luck with that one. When will we realize that cheap doesn't equal good?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  122. Russell

    If anything the crisis in Japan has highlighted how well constructed and truly safe nuclear power is. Even in the face of tremendous disaster and a series of failures these reactors have not breached and the enviromental impact has been less than even the burning petroleum depot in Chiba. On top of all that these reactors are 40 years old. The new pebble bed reactors are even of an even safer design than the boiling water reactors of years past. I'd rather have a nuclear plant in my backyard than a coal, oil or natural gas plant.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  123. Michael Pazden

    NO – What happened in Japan should NOT stop construction of Nuclear Power Plants in the US. At worst it should make us consider more carefully where they are located. Other than California none of the US is located in an area subject to earthquakes AND tsunamis. And Nuclear technology is light years past what it was when Three Mile Island was constructed. Only the environmental chicken littles are concerned (overly)

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  124. Donna

    Friday's lesson regarding nuclear power is not that it shouldn't be built but rather it shouldn't be built in earthquake-prone areas of the globe.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  125. Bode from MD

    it should not stop future power plants construction as far as the owners can produce an instant cut off switch in case of accidents

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  126. Ric Sampson

    No, I do not believe we should stop because of the Japan situation. We have only 1 major accident in the US nuclear facilities and yet we have 104 reactors currently providing power accross the US. The Russians have had only one major incident. And now Japan has had one incident. What other industry can say they have a safety record that is anywhere close to the safety record of the nuclear industries? We need to stop being a knee-jerk reactive society and use our inteligence that we claim is an advantage of the US.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  127. Chuck

    Why is it an all or nothing question? Everything we build and every technological step we take has an element of risk. We simply need to manage those risks appropriately...or we could just go back to tying rocks on the end of sticks.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  128. Adnan Shilleh

    No, the construction of future nuclear power plants should be stopped in places were their are natural disasters and wars. For example, their shouldn't be any nuclear power plants in California or Florida because of the hurricanes and earthquakes. If the construction of nuclear power plants in the future is stopped, then the power we have will become less efficient.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  129. Ray From Idaho

    It shouldn't prevent us from building new plants. 9.0 Earthquakes only occur in geological "hotspots". This is something we should take into account when planning new facilities, but it shouldn't pevent vital newer, cleaner nuclear plants from being built anywhere. Also what is the safety history of these plants in Japan? Were they ever tested againt an earthquake of any magnitude?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  130. Al & Nancy Bilheimer

    We should absolutely NOT stop construction of nuclear plants! We need them now more than ever. To stop would be a stupid move based on panic, not science. The alternatives are far worse! There is no such thing as CLEAN coal, and the environmental damage to get the coal – or gas – is disastrous.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  131. Martin Wielgus

    Absolutely. The threat of earthquakes is not the only concern with these plants. Nobody has ever addressed completely the problem with disposal of nuclear plant waste products, which remain radioactive for thousands of years. I understand that India is the only country that does anything about reprocessing fuel rods. Why is the US always on the tail end of technological development? The reason is probably lack of significant investment.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  132. Daniel Branch

    This should not deter future construction of nuclear power plants. Engineers and architects do, however, have to build these plants in areas further from active fault lines, plus, construct them to withstand higher G-forces (ground acceleration) generated from these quakes.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  133. Linda Oliver

    Yes, new construction of nuclear power plants in the U. S. should be stopped.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  134. Jim Deller

    Jack, the majority of the destructions from the 8.9 Japanese earthquake was from the resulting tsunami. Except for the west coast, the US is not vulnerable to tsunamis. Build nuclear power plants a safe distance inland, problem solved.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  135. Bonnie in Arkansas

    "Nuclear power" sounds like magic, but it's just a dangerous way to boil water. Too expensive to build, too short a life span, too many problems with waste, and too many things that can go way wrong. There have to be safer ways to produce electricity.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  136. Bob

    It absolutely should not stop nuclear power generation – new or old plants. Over 2000 who were near the coast are dead – why not call for a prohibition on being within 200 miles of the shore? Both are ridiculous.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  137. Daniel

    Jack,
    I honestly think that nuclear power is just too unpredictable! Japan was, I believe, ahead of the rest of the world in preparation for earthquakes and tsunamis. Still, we can see the massive damage despite this preparation. The problem with radioactive material and nuclear power in general is that it's very hard to control, hence the current reactor heating issues. It's just too dangerous.

    Daniel
    Vidalia, GA

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  138. Daniel G

    Absolutely Not!

    If you add up the total devastation to the environment and lives lost due to nuclear power plants, does it come close to the destruction and lives lost due to the consumption of oil used to supply other methods of power? Only 3 power plants have had issues, how many oil spills have we had? How many wars have revolved around oil?

    DG

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  139. Kris Olszewski

    Nuclear power plant builds should move ahead. I am willing to bet, the petro-chemical plants burning and leaking from the eathquake/tsunami are causing more environmental damage right now, than the nuclear plant is.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  140. Clarence Hall

    From what I have heard it is not the earthquake that has caused the problems at the power plants in Japan. The resulting tsunami is where the problems lie.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  141. Bure Roho

    Absolutely not. We need nuclear. Our non-nuclear coal plants already spew radioactive poisons that kill us slowly. New nuclear designs are much better than these 1970s-era plants. But all future nuclear plans must be over-designed. They must anticipate the 1-in-100 year disaster and shut down appropriately.

    Renewable power is an important goal, but we cannot get there from here without nuclear as a bridge – at a minimum.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  142. Knox Ewers

    Absolutely NOT, Jack. We have not stopped flying airplanes in spite of all the major airplane crashes. This is a knee jerk reaction which is so typical every time something like this happens. Let's use this as a learning experience and build them better and stronger.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  143. James

    There is no question that anything nuclear is dangerous. Now is the time to reevaluate or engineering and retrofit our plants to make them safer. The California power crisis a few years back goes to show that a growing population needs more power to sustain itself. Why not learn from this experience in Japan and explore new options in nuclear safety.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  144. Dan Leo

    Even though nuclear power is much cleaner than oil or coal, it also sets up our future for tragedy due to how dangerous nuclear power can be if not handled with extreme care. I'd rather see wind turbines all over the United States than nuclear power plants. We humans are really starting to get over our heads and will face consequences when reality hits.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  145. Karen Sherry Brackett

    No, the Japanese power plant demonstrates the success of nuclear power plants. It took a 8.9 earthquake, a tsunami and a forty year old reactor plant to recreate this crisis verses a brand spanking new BP oil well in the gulf. Don't get me wrong I am not knocking oil... we really for safety need to work toward blended fuels. No fuel has to be all one component... We can now blend these for more safety more effeciency and better environmental impact.... This by the way is a the economic win win that everyone is looking for.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  146. High Mountain Living

    Build them but do it right. Whatever we learn from Japan will help make nuclear power more safe. We need it. Plain and simple.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  147. Joanne-Minnesota

    Jack-
    I say yes, but they should be no further than 1000 feet from the White House, Capital Hill, or any capita buildingl in any state, and when there is a problem the President, Governor, Senator, or Congressmen should be required to stay in their offices, or in the street, not a bunker or underground tunnel until it is safe for everyone.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  148. Victoria Elouassil

    Germany, Munich

    Yes, as fast as posssible ! There are other energy sources that can do much better anyway and even german responsibles as chanceler Angela Merkel are conviced that a change should happen in relation to the Japan earth quake although up to now her point of view was eather conervativ as this is what politically she is at!

    Sincerily
    Victoria Elouassil

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  149. Granville

    We should build lots of nuclear power plants, starting NOW.

    Today's nuclear power plant safety technology is much safer than it was 20-40 years ago.

    Of course, we should not build them on active faults, on the seashore, in flood plains, or real close to big population centers.

    The incident in Japan is unfortunate and sad, but irrelevant to this question.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  150. Jim

    In the last 60 years, more people have died in Ted Kennedy's car than in the US nuclear industry. To ignore the only proven technology for generating clean electricity because several 40 year old plants have problems after being hit by the 5th largest earthquake since 1900 AND a 30 foot tsunami (within 30 minutes of each other) would be insane.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  151. steve calo

    The white house press conference stated that our nuclear power plants are built to withstand earthquakes , tsunamis etc. but they dodged the bullet when questioned if our plants could withstand a similar earthquake as experienced by Japan. Boy did they skirt that question ! We all know the obvious answer.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  152. Ted Newill

    Absolutely not! Asking this is like asking, "Thousands of people every year die in car accidents every. Should we stop driving cars?" We should make nuclear plants in the safest places possible. And, we don't need a hysterical media turning this event into a decision point on energy policy. Yes, it is dramatic. Much more dramatic than the tens of thousands of people that die each year from diseases caused by carbon pollution. Unfortunately, those deaths are too spread out to be sexy enough for consistent media coverage. Energy has its trade offs. I will vote for clean nuclear energy.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  153. george fredricksburg va

    I believe that the United states day is coming especially along the west coast along the 600 mile fault along washington shoreline to northern California. building of these sites should not be allowed along any faults and the ones that are really need to be looked at.Live and learn from what we are witness to.We have a chance to change this from happening do not wait until to late.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  154. David

    No, certainly not. The renewable energies are nowhere near ready enough to replace the nuclear powerplants, so the only alternative would be to use more oil, gas and coal, which is not the appropriate solution. I'm French, and even if I don't agree with all of Général de Gaulle's decisions, he was right to set the path for a "nuclear France", the atomic energy now providing around 80 % of our needs.
    From Lyon, France.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  155. Ashleigh in Washington

    What choice do they have. They don't have the strength of the rivers that are here in the US and the wind would also be an issue. They should continue because Japan doesn't have much of a choice and up until now the plants have withstood earthquakes. An earthquake like this only happens only once in every thousand of years. It's like telling the US not to build an national park on a super volcano.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  156. Nate Green

    No, nuclear power plants are clearly safe if regulated appropriately. Ge Hitachi just got new nuclear power plant designs approved that are far more safe than the current designs are. Our only hope of significantly reducing our CO2 output is to expand nuclear energy use.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  157. Taylor Trask from Virginia Beach

    Absolutely not! Nuclear power is one of the most clean and productive energy sources available to the United States at the moment.. We cannot hide our heads in the sand because we are afraid of a completely random event in nature. There should be little risk with proper safety regulation for individual locations. Anyone that claims to support clean energy should push for more nuclear energy. Jack, without a doubt I would have no problem with one in my own backyard.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  158. Bill S

    No, if anything the incidents in Japan should accelerate new plant construction. Although we're not out of the woods yet, the plants in Japan withstood the fifth largest quake in recorded history.

    We're worried about the impact from this disaster while tons of CO2 continues to be pumped into our atmosphere from the hundreds of coal-fired electric plants.

    React, baby, React !

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  159. Bob Kosick

    Heck no! I lived in central Pennsylvania during the Three Mile Island incident. The French generate 80% of their electricity from nuclear. We should not be too proud to learn from them if we need to. If we don't, I don't want to be around when we start to run out of oil.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  160. Max dick

    Jack,
    Did we ground all airplanes after the last bad airplane crash?

    Nothing is risk free. Decreasing risk increases cost.
    We take our choices and pay the price.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  161. Douglas J. Dunham

    Jack,

    There is only one source of long-term cheap power. That source is nuclear. It is not enough to start panics. One must support nuclear energy production just as we subsidize our highways that kill us at the rate of at least 40,000 souls per year.

    Doug

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  162. Karen in Colorado

    Oh, puleeeez. You can count on one hand the number of nuclear plant accidents and disasters worldwide. Meanwhile, deaths and environmental disasters resulting from coal, oil and gas operations are acceptable collateral damage. How many US oil, gas and coal facilities today can survive a significant earthquake and subsequent tsunami? They can't even operate safely under normal conditions because they aren't as carefully regulated and inspected like US nuclear plants.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  163. Jordan Zimmerman

    Absolutely! What is happening in Japan has certainly brought this issue to the forefront; however, over many decades scores of us have been advocating for real green energy sources such as air and wind, this especially considering that the US still has no way to safely dispose of radioactive waste generated by these plants. It is high time that we become responsible caretakers of our environment!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  164. Mike

    Absolutely not! The major issues that this power plant is experiencing is not due to the safety built into these plants, but the backup power system. These survived the earthquake, but not the following tsunami. The backup power system shutting down is what caused the overheating which led to the continuing, and escalating problems. Now the pump providing cooling water runs out of fuel? Sounds like inadequate planning for backup systems more than the actual design of the power plant itself. You may want to talk to the US Navy about emergency cooling systems that require no power.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  165. LarryinOregon

    Absolutely not Jack, sites should be selected carefully and safety designed into the physical plants and an integral element of operations, but we need nuclear power. Perhaps a larger number of smaller plants could mitigate the risks. I am confident that American engineers can design and build safe nuclear plants with appropriate regulatory oversight.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  166. Gigi Oregon

    No! if I understand correctly American subs are powered by nuclear energy. The problems is we have made them to large, small plants would be the wise solution.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  167. Lee Manges

    Allow the construction and use of nuclear energy, but add some extra redundancy for cooling and threat. However, we need to move forward and not keep putting the brakes on progress. As a species we will learn from this and build it better, but like anything else we need to build efficiencies.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  168. Terry Fillow

    I think construction should continue. We have to remember these reactors in Japan are 30-40 years old from what I have read/heard. Technology has changed alot since then. I think more important is considering placement of reactors, as well as any natural hazards that might be in the area.

    Terry
    Andrews, NC

    March 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  169. alex

    Absolutely not. Compare the number of deaths and unusable real estate fue to nuclear power events to those of oil, coal, hydro-electric, and natural gas. You will find that nuclear remians by far the cleanest and safest available energy technology capable of high volume production. Unfortunately special interests don't usually care much about facts and recent events will likley be blown out of proportion and provide another pointless slowdown as after the Three Mile Island event that to date has not been faulted for any long-term health issues in the area. The event in Chernobyl was significant and caused by poor construction. Kind of like banning automobiles because the Pinto had a poorly placed gas tank.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  170. Scott Regner

    Yes–with good 'ol American know how we can make them somewhat reasonably safe, though they are a ridiculously dangerous method to boil water to turn turbines and make electricity...
    With that same American know how we could make batteries more efficient and powerful, make solar power more affordable and powerful, wind power the same and geothermal power etc etc
    Gee, what monied interests line the pockets of our government and are preventing us from doing this?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  171. Deborah Jones

    Yes, it is time for the world's best minds to apply their best efforts to create sustainable energy that does not threaten the existence of human beings and this planet that we all share. We are stewards of the miracle of Earth. Every so often we need to remember that there is no such thing as safe nuclear power or storage, "clean coal" is a fallacy that destroys our mountains, and that there is no time like the present to invest in a world wide race to find other power sources that do not destroy our precious island home.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  172. Brad

    Absolutely it should. I live near the TMI plant in Pennsylvania, and I have never thought it was safe. We need to invest much more in safer alternatives: Wind, Solar, etc. My BS meter is off the scale when these Nuclear "experts" say we are completely safe from a similar disaster here in the US.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  173. C Castro

    We cannot decide this until we fully understand what caused the failures at Fukushima-Daiichi.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  174. Christopher Rivas

    We should take this opportunity to learn how to build a safer reactor, where would we be if we stopped using fire just because someone got burned.
    -Sacramento Ca.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  175. wtidwell

    All technology has risk, and when you build a Nuclear Plant in a area prone to Earthquakes and Tsunamis you have to prepare for the worst. Everyone understands the risk that comes with Nuclear technology; therefore, we have to consider that Japan was a perfect disaster with the Earthquake and Tsunami. The only area in the US that is could happen (as far as we know) is in the Pacific Northwest. Therefore, this event should not stop future construction, but hopefully better it, becuase relaying on oil is not going to last much longer!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  176. Glen Shaw

    New nuclear units should be built to replace the decades old, Japan -style power plants which are used in the US. Newly designed units like the Westinghouse 1000 are " passively safe" meaning that if malfunctions were to develop, gravity would supply cooling water due to the coolant being resevoired above the reactor level. There are some locations that nukes should never be built ( Japan being an island has great limitations on their location selections) but there is no denying that nukes have been operating safely and efficiently for decades and are a valuable addition to the energy equation for the US.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  177. Jordan Zimmerman

    Absolutely! What is happening in Japan has certainly brought this issue to the forefront; however, over many decades scores of us have been advocating for real green energy sources such as solar and wind, this especially considering that the US still has no way to safely dispose of radioactive waste generated by these plants. It is high time that we become responsible caretakers of our environment!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  178. David Gin

    Nuclear plants should go on as scheduled. They should be built with backup generators built in waterproof enclosures or above ground so they will not be flooded.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  179. Arie

    Absolutely. Frankly there is a serious need to evaluate this planet's capacity to provide enough energy for the ever growing global population. Rather than build more nuclear power plants or scour the planet for oil, or fight over existing oil reserves, global leaders ought to be asking the bigger question of whether or not we as a global population can really sustain ourselves on finite resources. In addition to innovation and alternative energy sources, I think it's about time we begin a conversation about population control.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  180. Gary MacDougal

    Knowledgable, reponsible people who really understand how these plants are constructed are not worried about the situation in Japan and they are completely confident that U.S. plants are NOT vulnerable. Only the media and agenda-driven anti-nuclear activists are running around saying the sky is falling.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  181. Lyn

    Japan's nuclear power plants were reinforced as they were built on earthquake fault lines. It was the tsunami which caused the present situation, which no country can prepare or correct. If we wisely build our plants AWAY from fault lines and areas suseptible to tsunami's (Indian Point for example) we needn't throw out the baby with the bath water.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  182. Paul Marsh

    Jack

    The question is moot because no further nuclear power plants will be built in this country anyway. People don't realize it yet, but solar power is very nearly equivalent in cost now to oil, natural gas, coal, etc., and the price is going to continue to decrease. Within only a few years it will become apparent that the cheapest energy source is solar. Then everyone will begin switching as quickly as they can.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  183. Eric

    No, but we should pause and learn from Japan's mistakes

    March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  184. Jim

    Absolutely not. We should learn from this catastrophe and modify current plants as much as possible to withstand higher loads. I believe that here in the U.S. plants should be built away from fault lines, so as to minimize potential dangers.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  185. Dana

    We have seen commentators on CNN who have said that the Japan reactors that are in trouble were old reactors at the end of their life. The commentators have also said that newer reactors are much safer than the old reactors. I don't think what is happening in Japan should halt further construction of nuclear power plants.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  186. Shirley

    Absolutely not! I wrote letters rejecting nuclear in the 1970's. If we had been applying our energy to developing solar or wind since then,we could be well on our way to being energy efficient now.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  187. Dennis Shelby

    Counting 3-mile Island and Chernoble (sp) we have had 3 near-disasters in about 20 years. That is an average of once every 7 years. What rate of nuclear near-disasters is acceptable, considering the catastrophic damage a full meltdown would cause? The rate should be none, zero, zilch. Are we going to have to learn the hard way?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  188. Sherry Cooper

    Jack, certainly, all nuclear plants should not be permitted to be built near natural disaster prone areas and especially near oceans where tsunamis from anywhere can reach out and do damage...currently I believe only nuclear plants for experiments should be maintained until and such time that we have solved the issues of a longer life span than 45 years of these plants...

    March 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  189. Karen from Pittsburgh

    No. Most of our country is not on a fault line like Japan. Build wisely. We need to develop ALL energy sources - especially natural gas. We have too many environmentalist who are fear mongering. We are not a 3rd world country. Our country – industry, etc. - the whole way we live in this progressive country - requires energy.
    We could convert our vehicles over to natural gas and would not have to be dependant on countries who do not like us.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  190. fred

    I am neither a nuclear physicist nor an engineer…..but if nuclear is an option why aren’t all parties looking for a saver way to secure this source of power. Has anything been learned from history.
    Let’s face it, we are all oil hunger, but after the fiasco (BP) in the gulf, is oil as secure as we want to believe? At the rate heating oil and gasoline are climbing nuclear may be an option, or possibly wind,
    but then there are the environmentalist who don’t want their view blocked on the East coast…..who are we fighting here and who is in control………………………..

    March 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  191. Chris Adams

    With every type of power developing system there is going to be a certain amount of danger and worry. Whether it is contributing to global warming, flooding the oceans with oil, stopping the natural flow and migration of fish because of hydro plants, or the risk of nuclear fallout. If power can be generated clean, and safely via nuclear means, then I say do it. If you are afraid of them don't live near them. Same way if you are affraid of tornadoes, don't live in Tornado ally. As far as safety goes it took a record breaking natural disaster to even bring up the debate. With technology being where it is and the knowledge from lessons learned I say let's generate a much need product. Energy!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  192. Renee Peoria,Ill

    This should be a wake-up call that we can't continue to rely on old forms of energy. We're still using fission even though we know fusion is safer and produces more energy. If the oil companies had any forsight they'd be donating a considerable amount of their sizable profits to scientists who are working on how to control the fusion reaction in a contained space (the main stumbling block in moving forward right now). When the oil runs out they'd be in on the ground floor of what is most likely to be the biggest power source in the future.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  193. Dr Osita Okonkwo

    Dear Jack,

    That was a great question. The concern should be on safety standards. It is my considered opinion that the Japanese authorities took great gamble by building the plants on earthquake prone region. Constructing nuclear plants at considerably safe locations with all the necessary safety regulations in place is key to global energy demands.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  194. Kay Hawklee

    The private sector wasn't building new nuclear power plants in America. The U.S. government subsidizes the almost $18 Billion it takes to build these plants. In light of that information, how can any responsible member of Congress possibly be FOR nuclear energy? I'll tell you how. Campaign contributions from nuclear energy companies who want the American people to take on the risk of nuclear energy.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  195. Larry

    Unless the U.S. goes back to rural development, we are going to need nuclear power, especially if the carbon tax people get their way. There is no way solar or wind power can be concentrated enough to power a few large cities.

    The old style light water reactors have many problems with them. The U.S. and global nuclear agencies have been working on the Generation IV nuclear power reactors for years now, it is time to bring some of these safer designs to the production phase.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  196. Donna, Woodstock, NY

    I don't think so. I am not pro-nuclear, but nuclear energy is so much a part of our infrastructure now that I don't see us going non-nuclear any time soon. My understanding is that part of the reason they want to build so many new nuclear power plants is that our existing ones are getting pretty old (like the one in Japan). That being the case, I think we should shut down the old ones and replace them with the safest, most state-of-the art facilities possible.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  197. Janet

    It is a reason to consider thorium plants which do not have the same risks or disposal problems of uranium-based plants.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  198. Kevin Puetz

    No, we just need to do more money in researching nuclear power. For example, we need to stop abandon Uranium and start developing thorium based power plants like the Canadians. Thorium posses much less of a threat to our health, produces little nuclear waste , and can not be turned into nuclear weapons. It also is several hundred times more efficient than Uranium but is much cheaper. It seems to be a logical solution to our energy problem. If the guys in Washington would quite taking Coal money we could have our energy problem solved within 10 years.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  199. Mike

    NO, what can go wrong, will go wrong.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  200. Ken in NC

    Jack, don't let this ruffel your feathers. The plants survived the earthquake and emergency systems worked fine there. It was the water that came along later that screwed the system there. We have to worry more about contractors bribes, cutting corners and cost over runs killing us. Those are the things I associate with nuclear power that represent a greater danger to us.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  201. Pam johnston

    Do not build anymore of these plants on earthquake fault lines as a starter. I have heard that this plant has plutonium in the mix. If this melts down and plutonium is released we will all be really screwed. I would rather have the dirty coal plant. I think this whole global warming scam is being used by big corporations to make money. The earth as well as other planets are entering a huge solar cycle that is effecting earth and planetary changes that have nadda to do with cars, oil, coal or any manmade mess. However nuclear blasts do effect thing for time immeasurable.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  202. Sharon in St. Louis

    Japan should absolutely continue to build nuclear power plants if they want to. They have a proven track record of building with an understanding of their environment. Japan is probably the most careful builders in the world.
    Also, nuclear fuel is more affordable than anything else they may import. Do you expect them to burn coal? Whale oil perhaps??
    They know what they're doing. Have a little faith.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  203. roslyn bienenstock

    The real problem is the world's insatiable appetite for energy. I have not heard anything in the past few days about the huge numbers of people who have died as a result of mining and using coal, or the environmental damage and deaths related to oil. I have never heard this amount of hysterical coverage of tobacco issues, or even alcohol, both known killers of millions. Despite the real dangers, nuclear energy is probably the least risky of our dangerous addictions, so please add some perspective (or even data) to your coverage.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  204. Kevin in Rocklin CA

    No? This is how we learn. We have not seen the end to this ordeal yet. The world’s most highest technology is being tested now to the absolute edge of the envelope. Now is not the time to give up, we gave up on the space program for 30 years too. Wait until this is over, fix the problems and continue on.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  205. Edward Doe

    No, nuclear power is the most efficient form of electric power generation. A power plant that can generate 1400 megawatt plant can fit on forty acres, where a solar plant takes over 4000 acres to generate only 350 megawatts of power. From an environmental stand point it , nuclear has a much smaller foot print.
    Our power plants are aging and we barely have sufficient generation capacity for current rates of consumption, imagine what will happen when we make the shift to electric cars. That will be next crisis. We need more power generation and nuclear must be a part of that.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  206. Greg in California

    Absolutely not. Every time there's a catastrophic event, the public and politicians tend to panic (i.e. The passing of The Patriot Act). The stakes are already far too high to continue on a path of relying on a diminishing fuel source to support an ever expanding population growth. If anything, engineers should gain insight from these events, and focus on developing further safeguards to mitigate the threat of any future catastrophes.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  207. Carl Jacobson

    No, but it will. The environmentalists will demagogue this. Contrary to Obama's 2% figure (true only if one includes petroleum reserves not recoverable) we have 17% of the worlds recoverable reserves. That plus new technoology does give us the ability to be close to energy independent. The appropriate responses are drill baby dril, and more conservation.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  208. Mike Sweeney

    Although I can’t believe these big plants do not have more backup power redundancy like solar power for recharging the backup batteries, we should build new nuclear power plants. These plants should be very small like the one Toshiba has developed for small towns.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  209. Mary Ann

    You bet we should stop! When will we learn that renewable energy is the only permanent solution, not to mention the cleanest? We knew in the 70s, during the "oil crisis" that we needed to move toward sustainable energy, but were diverted again and again by (what else) "high cost." Well folks, we will pay one way or the other. I’d prefer to pay the high cost with my money – not my health or my life.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  210. Patrizia

    I red the "No" responses and clearly ALL of the had no clue of how the solar power works, but again US is notorious about keeping the public ignorant about subjects with no lobbyists. There is NO reason to go from OIL disaster to NUCLEAR disaster. I wander if a nuclear plant would be built under these people asses and have some kind of a leak they would praise it so much. But again, it has been proven how bad oil is and they still go for it. Money counts more than life, how sad...

    March 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  211. Paul

    "Should we"? The reality is that there are 7 Billion people on this planet. MOST of them are using some kind of generated power, be it coal based, oil based, wind, solar or otherwise and ALL of those types of power generation ARE NOT ENOUGH to keep everything running. Fusion Power is about the ONLY thing that might fill the bill but I haven't heard anything resembling progress on that front since the Cold Fusion fiasco of the early '80's. "Should we"? At this point, there are no other options that are proven to work and are as reliable as Nuke Power. Dangerous? Of course. But again, what other confirmed high-output options do we have?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  212. Sharon C. Brown

    The arrogance of nuclear engineers is astounding. Do they really think their concrete and steel structures are stronger than the earth's forces? Their tsunami walls will hold back the sea? I don't believe them. And if we build more nuclear plants we should have our heads examined. Wind, sun, water and geothermal are the sensible, safe and economical energy sources of the future.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  213. John Donnelly

    This should never delay future plants, US and Canada have not built plants in many years. The black lung (coal loby groups) and Farm Subsidies will continue to fight any new development. Most of North America will never have 30 foot waves and other than California will not get 9.0 earth quakes. There was and will not be any large release from the reactors and the newer models are even stronger with convection backup that does not exist on these older models. Wind and Solar is a pipe dream, grain based solutions starve world for cost effective food. LNG and Nuclear are are only cleaner options.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  214. Scott

    Absolutely NOT. If anything, what has happened in Japan shows the safety of the construction of these nuclear plants. After all, They did survive the earthquake without severe damage. We need to balance the benefits with the inherent dangers. Do we stop flying because of a downed airliner? Recently, a bus accident in My home state of New York took many lives, Do we ride trains instead. Oh wait, trains derail too.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  215. Kevin Puetz

    No, we just need to spend more money in researching nuclear power. For example, we need to abandon Uranium and start developing thorium based power plants like the Canadians. Thorium posses much less of a threat to our health, produces little nuclear waste , and can not be turned into nuclear weapons. It also is several hundred times more efficient than Uranium but is much cheaper. It seems to be a logical solution to our energy problem. If the guys in Washington would quite taking Coal money we could have our energy problem solved within 10 yea

    March 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  216. Lisa Rowley

    Yes, yes and yes again. We have been watching the cnn live coverage since it began on Friday March 11, and as the nuclear reactor situation becomes worse by each hour, I am absolutley astounded and completely appalled that there are people out there that can actually agree to future construction of more nuclear power plants!!! What is wrong with this picture????

    March 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  217. Eileen

    Hollywood could not in their wildest dreams come up with a movie with everything currently happening in Japan and here it is a reality. Is it even possible to build something full proof and guaranteed not to fail? No more nuclear power as mankind cannot afford the price tag.

    EIleen from Connecticut

    March 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  218. John

    Should Japan earthquake stop future nuclear power plant construction ? ? No, common sense should stop future construction. We CAN make the jump to solar and wind. Just stop going to wars in countries that do not want us and use that money!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  219. Peter MacDonald

    I live in Greenfield MA only a few miles away from the nuclear plant in Vernon Vermont which happens to be sitting on and getting colling water from the Connecticut River which is one of 2 fault lines in the area...the other being USA route 2
    Am I concerned? Yes

    March 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  220. Chip

    Absolutely NOT!!!! It's premature to even consider it. All the facts are not available yet. There is way too much speculation going on at this point. One piece of information that is a fact that hasn't been talked about much is all three units were shut down adequately at the time of the earth quake with their cores being properly cooled. Cooling was lost when the tsunami hit and took out the emergency diesel generators that were supply power to the pumps cooling the reactors. Again, lets get the facts first then evaluate siesmic analysis and preparedness.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  221. Anne

    Now is not the time to stop building nuclear reactors. The United States needs clean energy and the ability to stop relying on oil to fuel this country. It is apparent that mistakes have been made in the past regarding nuclear energy, but things have changed dramatically since Three Mile Island. Safety standards within the nuclear community are stringent now and I believe will become even more stringent due to the disaster in Japan. There will always be people who oppose nuclear power, but let's face it...we're on our own here and better take iniative in powering our own county

    March 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  222. John Knecht

    Absolutely not! With 104 nuclear plants successfully delivering much needed power cheaply and safely now, and the cost of fossil fuel growing exponentially year to year, we must in fact, promote the further use of this technology, along with solar, wind, geothermal, etc. to wean us off this unsustainable addiction to the dwindling suppllies of oil world-wide, and continue the growth and very security of our nation.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  223. Mary Earheart

    I pray every day that we Americans learn to be better stewards of our resources. If we could only control our extravagant energy usage, then we wouldn't have to worry about having to "contain" radiation. We are an over-indulgent nation, but we are also a smart nation. Let's look at what is happening in Japan right now with nuclear energy, learn from their misery, and make a concerted effort to conserve and encourage safe alternate energy sources. I dare say if we invested the money into developing safe energy sources that we have invested in extravagant oil usage...we'd already have that substitute.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  224. Jack McElroy

    Absolutely not–it should not prevent building nuclear plants in the US or elsewhere where siting has been approved by a stringent regulatory process, As with 3 mile Island, no one has been killed thus far by the Japan nuclear reactor problems. and the radiation exposure to the population so far does not seem excessive. But this certainly is a major disaster and will remain so for some time to come.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  225. A IN OHIO

    ...It should...but it won't...I'm for solar and wind energy.....Most folk know as well as I do that the big money makers will do whatever it takes at the expense of lives.....that's the way it is and has been....sad...but true....

    March 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  226. Von Shipman

    There is no doubt in my mind that we should continue to build nuclear power plants. However, they should be built in areas that are not suspect to major earthquakes. We should also limit the amount of development in the area so that if there is a problem a large number of people will need to be relocated. We cannot live in fear or we will not be able to supply electricity for all our new electric cars.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  227. Ro

    Of course we need to halt future construction. It pains me to think how stupid we are to have built nuclear power plants in the state of California in the first place. We should all be trying to figure out how to get rid of the plants that are already in existence and replace them with an alternative power source. If we continue to grow nuclear power, we are only hastening our extinction... then it wouldn't matter how many jobs it created.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  228. Annie, Atlanta

    This is a no-brainer, Jack. If the Japanese can't do it right, nobody can.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  229. James Eggert

    to all thos who said no to this think about it when 1 close to your home and family, your wife, your kids(should be enough to convince any1) melts down and your forced to watch the ones you love die horribly painfully in front of you...we need to start concentrating on wind and solor power.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  230. Brad Elsberry

    This earthquake won;t and should not stop future plants. American paranoia of nuclear power is unfounded. As you said no one died at Three Mile Island. Chernobyl had no normal built in containment. In this earthquake one dam wiped out 1800 homes. No call for an end to hydro-electric power? Coal mining kills thousands do we care? Carbon based pollution most likely kills in the hundreds of thousands yet we keep drilling. Nuclear power is the safest cleanest source for giant power demands. It is the future of power.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  231. Matthew

    Until I see the core exposed through two layers of containment, this disaster is actually a highlight on how safe even a 40-year old reactor can be. Any USA nuclear plant would be built beyond any standards currently being broached by the Japan catastrophe. The fact is we need 24-hour energy, let alone gasoline, but enormous amounts of power and nuclear fission is a worldwide proven source.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  232. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Absolutely not, and I'm not a nuclear physicis. If the U.S. stopped construction of nuclear plants we will not only be depending on foreign oil, we will become dependent upon foreign nuclear energy.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  233. Gary

    Considering the plants actually withstood the earthquake but not the tsunami, I would say no.
    The Japanese are very intelligent, very determined and very hard working people. They rebuilt their nation after having two A-bombs shatter their nation. Should more thought be put into extra protection from what Mother Nature can dish out, absolutely.
    Right now, nuclear energy is largely the only means of energy for their country in mass numbers. With the exception of this one devastating incident, nuclear has been very successful for them.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  234. Bonnie in KY

    Absolutely.....in their tracks. I was already planning to object to any such plans in KY, before this horrendous event. Where are the enlightened thinkers to find the answers from the sun?

    March 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  235. Jason

    We need nuclear power.It could take decades for solar and wind capacities to catch up with coal and nuclear. Every type of power has its downsides. Nuclear is fairly clean (other than the waste) and pretty efficient. Last time I checked, most of the nuclear power plants in the US aren't at risk for 8.9 earthquakes and tsunamis. No power plant will stand up against such a fierce disaster. One small issue, being well handled by the Japanese, isn't enough a reason to drop such an important source of power.

    There have been dozens of outbreaks of salmonella and ecoli, but I'm pretty sure we all still eat

    March 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  236. Charles Rivenbark

    Unless we want to return to pre industrial revolution days, we cannot afford to stop every thing we are doing everytime a natural (or manmade) disaster occurs. We need to continue to build Nuclear power plants, in fact we need to speed it up. we also need to develop more wind power, but cannot stop drilling off shore as well as every where we can. we need to do everything we can to reduce our reliance on foreigh (especially hostile) oi.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  237. Larry Shedrack

    Absolutely, Nuclear power is like Charlie Sheen, good for awhile but you never know when it will explode. Seeing all this human suffering does it worth it? No I rather stay in dark with a touch light and no Television.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  238. Marge Acosta

    Yes. Even before this accident it has been obvious that the use of nuclear power is not safe. To this date, they still have not found a way to safely store the radioactive waste produced by nuclear power plants, especially plutonium, an extremely toxic element which has a half-life of 24,000 yrs. Scientists estimate it would be toxic for 240,000 years & there is no where on earth we could be sure that a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, would not rupture containment vessels & release this toxic waste.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  239. Doc

    No we should not stop building . Should we be more selective as to where they are built, yes. I live a stone's throw from one of the two oldest reactors in the US and I sleep very well at night.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  240. Cory Mickey

    Yes construction should stop, we should invest only in renewable energy. The planet is in a much worse state today because of Oil and man made Radioactive substances. Nuclear power has shown that it is too dangerous even for the smartest of organisms.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  241. C S Wyffels

    Knee-jerk reactions to any situation are a bad idea. All information should be gathered before this type of discussion should even be considered.

    Is the Nuclear Emergency as serious as the environmental damage from the Japanese Factory and Chemical Plant spills and fires. This Nuclear plant is just the easy target.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  242. Karl in Mich

    Build them, but not in areas with historic earthquake and tidal wave activity. Japan + Nuke plant = idiotic idea. Midwest USA + nuke plant = why not. You can't cure stupid.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  243. Kathy

    No, the recent mishaps in Japan should not stop the building of future nuclear power plants. Mother Nature can and does reak havoc. We can't close down everything based upon the possible damage that she can bring upon us. Nuclear Power Plants are constantly maintained, inspected and regulated. The true possible danger that exist with these plants is often misunderstood. The general public should be more educated about past nuclear plant accidents and the known effects. Nuclear Power has its benefits and these benefits should be considered in the whole picture. Let's not forget, the price of oil continues to rise. I am a lot more concerned with the large plants that use dangerous chemicals blowing up in my backyard, than I am the nuclear power plants.
    Kathy S. (TN)

    March 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  244. Christine, California

    I have never thought nuclear energy to be a good thing. All of the people who think man can build a safer plant are deluding themselves. It is clear those in favor are not willing to curtail their consumption of energy. We need to support green technology and cut the red tape. Oil and coal have benefited from years of government subsidies in different forms. If a field of windmills fell down in an earthquake it would not contaminate the surrounding population and area like a nuclear disaster. No more nuclear power plants.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  245. Ann

    I would rather have newer safer plants built than continue to bandaid old plants to keep them running.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  246. John

    No. How many oil, coal and natural gas explosions deaths and injuries have their been in the last 50 years? I would bet it is 10000x more than injuries from nuclear accidents. People forget there were no injuries from three mile island.

    Our designs now are 10x safer than our 30 years old reactors.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  247. john

    No, but we should delay new ones until we have a clear picture of the necessary safety measures needed.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  248. Frederic C. Schultz, Esq.

    Definitely. A powerful earthquake can hit anywhere, anytime. There is no way to prepare enough. Never again.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  249. Suzanne Brown

    Jack,

    There are risks in everything. But instead of quaking in fear we need to look at what worked in Japan.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  250. Danny

    I think we should build more nucular plants, using the best and safest methods. There are no free rides coal fired generaters impact many people

    March 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  251. Mac

    I think nuclear power plants are just another bad answer to the question of how to supply more energy. The answer is renewable energy,

    March 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  252. Erik B

    Yes! There is potentially enough wind in the midwest to power the US electric grid 15 times over!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  253. hunter in northcarolina

    no i do no think this... we need nuclear power to run many items..... it is useful.... one earthquake should not stop this power resource from being used... we could find a new way to cool down the fuel rods...

    March 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  254. SENGUPTA

    No this psunami should not affect the construction of new nukes. They are very safe, and we should see what can be learned from this in future deigns and not simply take a knee -jerk reaction to it.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  255. Arlo Hemphill

    Yes. All nuclear power plants require people to maintain them. Without the right people present, they all will melt down. There are so many variables that could interrupt this – war, pestilence, any kind of natural disaster. The risk is too great.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  256. Anonymous

    There should not be anymore construction, but only in certain parts, such as near the water, or at the edge of tectonic plates, where there tend to be massive earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis. There should be a LIMITED nuclear plant construction.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  257. Warren in Ohio

    Absolutely, but that's not enough. It is high time to put this nuclear behemoth to rest by shutting down all nuclear power plants and abolishing all nuclear weapons. Humanity lived well for over 50,000 year without nukes but after Hiroshima/Nagasaki/Fukushima we may not survive another generation. End the destructive Nuclear Age and build up constructive nuclear families.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm |