Responsive and Responsible: Moving From “Safe” to “Super Safe”


Ricardo Byrd, Executive Director, National Association of Neighborhoods

The crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, caused by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami off the northeast coast of Japan is causing some people to ask questions about the use of nuclear energy in the United States. Can the same thing happen here? Should we rethink or even halt our own use of nuclear energy in the United States?

Such reactions are understandable – what’s happening in Japan is very serious and should raise questions. But it’s also important to rationally assess the situation so that we can learn from this crisis before considering any changes to America’s approach to nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is and should remain an important part of America’s energy portfolio and safety is always the number one priority. We know that no energy source is completely safe – every energy alternative has its dangers and drawbacks. The key is to do everything possible to make our use of all forms of energy not just safe, but super safe.

When we are in the middle of a crisis like this, it is tempting to have a knee-jerk reaction. But now is not the time for drastic or rash changes to America’s nuclear energy policy. Let’s remain calm, rational and focused so that we can learn the right lessons and use them to make the right decisions about America’s energy future.

Tags: Earthquake, Fukushima Dai-ichi, Japan, Tsunami

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