Lieberman’s moratorium should be on earthquakes, not power plants

Sen. Joe Lieberman

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) wants a moratorium on the construction of nuclear power plants in the U.S. It was only a matter of time until someone in this country freaked out over events in Japan, and the Senator stepped up.

On “Face the Nation” this morning, he opined: “… I don’t want to stop the building of nuclear power plants, but I think we’ve got to kind of quietly, quickly put the brakes on until we can absorb what has happened in Japan …”

Really? “Until we can absorb what has happened in Japan”? They had an earthquake, a magnitude 8.9 earthquake, followed by a 25-foot tsunami. The worst quake in Japanese history. The fifth worst quake in the world since 1900. That’s what happened, Senator. Things over there were hunky dory before the earthquake hit.

And yet, despite the unprecedented devastation in the world’s most quake-prone country, those 40-year-old Japanese power plants are still standing. They did not collapse; they did not rupture. And although they are having some serious problems right now, there has been no massive release of radiation. Remarkable, all things considered.

CBS News noted today:

Nils J. Diaz, a nuclear engineer who led the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 2003 to 2006, told the New York Times that safety programs for nuclear power plants developed in the wake of 9/11 would have prevented the serial problems experienced by the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex.

So, Senator, unless you’re ready to share with us your secret technology for preventing earthquakes, it seems your moratorium would be rather pointless — expensive, certainly, but pointless.

One thought on “Lieberman’s moratorium should be on earthquakes, not power plants

... and that's my two cents

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