Photo and Story by Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is not backing down on her support of nuclear energy in the wake of Japan’s crisis, but she says the disaster has been an enormous hit to that nation as well as nuclear technology.
Murkowski has been a top proponent of nuclear power as part of a broad energy portfolio, and her position is watched carefully since she’s the top Republican on the Energy Committee. Today the Senator encouraged withholding judgment of nuclear until more is known about what happened.
The U.S. gets 20 percent of its electricity from nuclear, and Murkowski says it’s been generated safely for decades, so she’s calling for people to keep what’s happening in Japan in perspective. She says it is important for the U.S. right now to make sure that the nuclear facilities operating could sustain a double-whammy event of earthquake and tsunami.
Democratic Senator Mark Begich agrees that nuclear power plants will need to undergo scrutiny to make sure they can cope with disasters, and he says no form of energy – including nuclear – should be taken off the table right now.
Begich says this highlights the potential of Alaska fossil fuels and says this should encourage the Obama Administration to explore Alaskan gas and oil.
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