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The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster has moved 45 groups and individuals to ask that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to cease all licensing for 21 pending nuclear reactor projects in 15 US states, and establish an independent commission to conduct an updated safety analysis of nuclear energy production.

The groups, which include Beyond Nuclear; the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL); Citizens Allied for Safe Energy; and the Nuclear Information and Resource Center, say that it is an obligation for NRC to properly consider the lessons being learned from Fukushima before permitting any further nuclear energy development in the US.

Petitioners say it is only reasonable for the NRC to take a serious step back and reevaluate how the events of Fukushima relate to US nuclear facilities, some of which are in worse shape than Fukushima was before the disaster. If such a disaster were ever to hit US soil, the consequences could be even more devastating than Fukushima.

The Center disagrees with these groups and believes that the Act of God that caused the Fukushima disaster should not negatively influence the operation and construction of new nuclear power plants in the USA.  However, reactors on the coasts should make their cooling water backup systems more robust if they intend to continue to operate in the USA. (Natural News, 4/16/2011)