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-- -- Japan's sending stocks reeling and raising questions about the risks and benefits of nuclear power our next guest certainly knows all about that he is Mike Morris chairman and CEO of one of the nation's largest suppliers of electricity.
And he is also the CEO and chairman of American Electric Power Mike good to have you on the show thank you for taking time out on all of this.
First of all you are -- big expert on nuclear power you have sat on many boards you've shared different organizations.
You're big on that you understand it well.
When we hear today that the latest headline at 46 minutes past 3 PM eastern there's no more water left to cool those exposed.
Nuclear rods what goes through your mind here can you enlighten us as to what could happen next.
Well as I think obviously the teppco folks -- electric power folks -- people that we know and no well they're doing everything in their power to go about.
Taking control of this you just -- a small introduction that so they're getting ready to bring an additional off site power on to the planned site that'll be.
Really helpful because -- the way they can turn some of the cooling activities back on.
The salt water activity is a very very important step that they took him what it really says is.
They decided that safety was much more important in the capital investment that they had at the station.
Not having cooler tomorrow however in the reactor vessel is is a very important issue because the fuel will continue to do the nuclear fission reactions.
And that means that there will continue to create -- radioactive issues and if the containment -- ruptured and they don't yet know there's been some talk about that.
Then you'll continue to -- radiation off site at levels that are typically have much higher than we typically see at any of our facilities so.
This is a very very serious event and now I know that the people of Japan are worried as they should be.
-- and the folks who work they're doing all that they can.
And here in the states were getting every update that we can't we're all going about looking at our stations.
To make sure that most everything that needs to be done can't that could be done as being done right now.
Is -- -- very important steps that -- taking as well.
Might -- that the folks in Tokyo who he is you say you know pretty well being second guessed.
Particularly by the Europeans the French you have the European measures are second guessing though the level of severity that they are.
They're marking this crisis -- do you think that's fair or unfair what the Europeans are doing in terms of second guessing the people are actually risking their lives trying to solve this.
As you know from looking at all of the photos and all of the news updates it's impossible for all but a few folks to be inside the station.
And there are about their business of doing that corrective things that need to be done.
This is like any power outage people begin to be critical of it and second guessing but the folks doing the work to your point.
Risking their own lives to save the lives of others are the ones who the real heroes here so.
I'd wait till after the event is over with and then find out a did they tell us everything that they could as soon as they could because that's an important part of nuclear power throughout the world not only -- Institute -- nuclear power operators and they in the United States.
But really for the world.
Association of nuclear operators are -- which handles all of the other.
Facilities not here in the United States it is very important things that they're going through and they're doing.
Everything that they can so second guessing and being critical today is uncalled for really.
One of the biggest proponents.
In the past 48 hours emerging when it comes to nuclear energy has been the Obama administration Steven Chu the energy secretary coming -- asking for 35 billion in war.
Money for nuclear and and the administration has made -- very clear they -- that nuclear should be part of the so called portfolio of clean energy options.
-- how do you keep Americans.
Agreed with that when they see this kind of thing they see people was mass they -- babies being held up and tested for radiation.
It is worrisome but people should not have knee jerk reactions we know.
What else can be done about this.
Well -- I think that's very important point today you know there was a certain amount of political sway behind nuclear power of two of the utilities here in this country are.
In the actual stages of beginning the physical preparations of sites.
Hoping to get authority from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build new stations within the next two or three years.
The public should be concerned and rightfully so this is an industry that.
Learned a great deal from Three Mile Island.
This is an industry that learned a great deal from Chernobyl this is an industry that will learn a great deal.
From the activity -- Fukushima and then we'll all take those lessons and implement them in what we do now.
We always look at earthquake -- -- -- plant would react we after 9/11 we all look at how they could take a direct hit from a large air facility.
We'll now have to take a more serious look particularly those along the coast to the potential impact of a tsunami.
Fortunately for many of the plants are -- inland rivers or inland lakes and they wouldn't have that same event but.
There are stations as you know along the coast of the United States both the east and the West Coast.
We'll have to take a harder look at that I'm sure they NRC will do -- I know -- well last.
Each of us to take a look at our station to see what we have lined up.
For the event that are diesel generators don't -- we already know what to do there but what do you do and all off site power is gone.
And infect your diesel generators are gone that's what the tsunami really did it wasn't.
So much -- earthquake as it was the tsunami that came from that you know we keep all of our fuel underground their fuel is above ground so.
The generator for the on the brought in a mobile generator but the feel was gone as well so we do things differently here.
We we have operated these plants extremely safe and will continue to do that the American people should question.
But I think it has to be part of the portfolio.
And I really champion the Obama administration for being strong about that issue.
OK but very quickly -- we got to wrap this I -- Ron Paul last night if we would rationally if we would see another nuclear plant.
In my lifetime and he said probably not.
What do you think.
Well David you're pretty young I expect we'll have another I think southern company -- -- -- ahead and build their facility.
That's up kind of southern company will in fact go ahead and though there -- in SCANA.
Is the other one that has move very structurally forward on site preparation neither of them have their NRC permits yet.
But nuclear power has -- be part of the American exodus does Mike thank you so much for joining us Mike Morris American electric --
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