Skip to main content

Steven Chu on the Sunday Morning Shows

Energy Secretary Steven Chu made the rounds of the morning shows today – virtually all of them – to talk about the Fukushima Daiichi and its implications for the American nuclear energy industry. Let’s see what the lead is in the first coverage of his appearances:

From Bloomburg:

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the worst is probably over in Japan as efforts to stabilize the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant have had some success.

From The Wall Street Journal:

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Sunday that the Japanese are making progress at stabilizing the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and said U.S. regulators are reviewing the safety of reactors with a similar design.

This one, from Reuters, tries a different tack:

Japan's nuclear crisis will influence where the United States builds future nuclear power plants, and the operation of a facility near New York City will be reviewed in the wake of the disaster, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Sunday.

All plants are being reviewed, so that one’s easy. I haven’t seen the transcript for Fox News Sunday (we have Chu’s appearance on CNN’s State of the Union in an earlier post), which this report uses, but it quotes Chu:

"Certainly where we site reactors -- and where we site reactors going forward -- will be different than where we might have sited them in the past," Chu said on "Fox News Sunday."

The Department of Energy doesn’t usually weigh in on siting; it’d be interesting to see the context of the quote.

Oh, here’s the context, from Fox News itself:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing reactor safety in the United States in light of the partial meltdown in Japan, and will determine whether nuclear reactors in the future should be constructed in less populous locations, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu said Sunday.

That makes more sense.

Comments

Horizon3 said…
Chu is a funny guy.

Glad he made time to go yap the Sunday morning shows.

Aside from that he has no dog in the hunt, and he's just beating his gums.

He and DOE/EPA have NO jurisdiction over civilian nuclear power plants, they fall exclusively under the NRC which is a separate entity from DOE, and is headed by Chairman Gregory Jaczko.
DocForesight said…
I watched FOX News Sunday and was not impressed with Sec. Chu's answers. No doubt he is a smart man, but being able to vigorously defend the safety and siting of our nuclear power plants would do much to quell the hysteria surrounding this tragic natural calamity in Japan.

Japan is on the "Ring of Fire" fault-tectonic plate and even a 9.0 didn't cause Fukushima to fail. Indian Point carries no such uncertainty - heck, not even Diablo Canyon or San Onofre for gosh sakes!

If you are going to make the appearance on TV, then be fair but resolute in our safety systems, review protocol and designs.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…