Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Nuclear crisis in Japan is raising questions about the safety of atomic power plants all over the world but energy secretary Steven -- Telling a house panel today Americans have nothing to fear.
At American people should have full confidence that -- states has.
Rigorous safety regulations in place to ensure there nuclear powers -- safely and responsibly.
Information still I mean about the events unfolding Japan.
The demonstrations committed to learning from Japan's experience as we work to continue and strengthen America's nuclear industry.
Nuclear power experts are now saying Japan's plant problems were caused by the impact of the tsunami that followed the earthquake not the quake itself -- he -- science director of the heartland institute and president of environmental education enterprises.
Well doesn't look what the Obama administration is panic and they're sticking up for nuclear energy saying it very much should be a part of the so called clean energy portfolio.
But you've got people looking at the pictures frankly coming out of Japan.
And that's disconcerting because a lot of people don't know they're seeing little children who are being sprayed down are tested for.
-- -- kind of radiation exposure but how should we be processing the pictures in the information about melting course coming out of Japan.
Well sadly lives people don't understand that a nuclear power plant is not a potential nuclear bomb that the way.
Nuclear energy works is we get radiation reaction we heat water retreats team.
We return turban when the reaction gets out of hand and -- -- we turn the reactor off all together which we have done in these -- Fukushima reactions.
But they retain a certain amount of radiation a certain amount -- to last for a number of days and if we lose cooling there can be melting.
And it does appear that in one of the containment buildings has been a breach of some low level radiation -- getting out into the countryside.
And it's gone from bad to worse and I don't want to minimize it all on minimizing -- that the ultimate impact on human health in Japan the ultimate potential death -- it's quite minimal if if it if there is any at all.
No matter how bad it is in Japan.
It's ten times -- ten times worse in Chernobyl in 1986 they had a power plant.
Without any containment building it blew up entirely it spewed tonnes of material into the air.
They thought tens of thousands of people would -- downwind when the UN finally -- investigated everything years later they found there was a -- death tolls fifty.
Either in the explosion or from radiation -- the plant.
There was a leukemia in than in the neighborhood literally in the village of about a thousand people.
Were cured and there were no increased cancer rates downwind from the planet so many people predicted nor were children be formed anyway.
So well when the report came out twenty years later in 20061.
Was clearly the worst disaster wasn't nearly as bad in terms -- human told.
But today well you know as you know we hear all kinds of statistics I've heard day you know numbers out -- your noble at 4000 died as a result in -- everybody's throwing around numbers but the fact is is -- right now the Germans.
Our our closing seven plants at least temporarily that are similar plants because of their concerns.
That the same thing might happen conceivably under some kind of circumstances.
In Germany that happen in Japan is that -- reaction.
I think it is over reaction David there are 444.
Commercially operating nuclear power plants in the world.
And they've been operating for about forty years many of them there's never been a fatality in a single plant we actually lose about 200 people a year in coal fired in gas fired.
Power plants nuclear is very safe that -- not for a nine.
Point richter scale earthquake which created this to zombie that really made the problem I mean it's it's just amazing.
That the Japanese engineers have been able to hold on the way they have.
Things are gonna get better in the days to come there will be your release of low level radiation but.
The ultimate impact on the Japanese public is it is going to be a tiny fraction.
Of the doom and gloom scenario that we hear every day.
We can we can only hope today -- let's talk about the latest news and that is that there is discussion about helicopters dropping water directly into the reactor to cool down those rods.
Can you tell us if you think that'll work.
I'm not sure to work but I certainly would try it I mean they they still have some heat -- out of control the rods are melting.
In the end they may end up dropping -- the bottom of the container.
Melting there's about a five inch layer of stainless steel there.
When we melted down in Three Mile Island.
The total corps drop down and it only melted five -- of an inch into the five inches.
Of Steele before it cool down that could occur enough Fukushima.
I know that it will end but gee I would do anything I could to cool -- down they didn't want you -- -- -- because it.
Probably will make the plant -- -- they'll be unable to rebuild it.
But I think you're dropping it from helicopters my guess is it won't do much good.
But absolutely I would use everything -- my -- hand to improve the situation.
But regardless the worst case even if it really blew up and there was a huge breach of the containment structure.
There is not going to be wholesale.
Who either walks of life or increased cancer rates in the years to come of the population.
Downwind from the plants.
Let's hope you're right -- layer heartland institute science director and environmental education enterprises.
President thanks a --
Filter by section