DALLAS, April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tonight's "Dan Rather Reports" will revisit a topic originally presented on March 1, just prior to the Fukushima plant disaster in Japan – does the United States need to build new nuclear plants in order to create cleaner and more efficient power sources here, or has the situation in Japan effectively ended any plan to advance nuclear power in this country? This discussion also falls on the 25th anniversary of the meltdown at Chernobyl.
As presented in the original report, the United States led the way in the development of nuclear energy back in the 1950s, but for thirty years, not a single new nuclear power plant was started in the U.S.
On tonight's program, Rather speaks with Ernest Moniz, a Physics Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Advisor on President Obama's Council on Science and Technology. Moniz is a proponent of building more nuclear power plants in the United States - in order to help reduce our carbon emissions and positively affect climate change - even though he believes that regulations will be tightened after Fukushima.
"Every day, every hour, every second that goes by we are emitting, in the United States, about six billion tons of [CO2] per year, about 30 billion tons the world," Moniz tells Rather. "So the clock is ticking. And I don't believe we have time to waste."
Not everyone shares that view, however.
Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey has recently introduced what is officially called "The Nuclear Power Plant Safety Act of 2011" as a way to address responsible growth of nuclear power in the United States.
"We should have a moratorium [on building new plants] that lasts as long as it takes to learn the lessons of Fukushima," Markey told Rather. "And to implement the lessons learned from Fukushima. That might be three months. It might be six months. It might be longer. That's up to the nuclear scientists to determine. That's up to safety experts to determine."
What is the best option for this country's energy future? Don't miss "Dan Rather Reports: The Nuclear Option" premiering TONIGHT on HDNet, Tuesday, April 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET with an encore at 11:00 p.m. ET.
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