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After an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on Friday, engineers are pumping seawater into damaged nuclear reactors to prevent a catastrophic full-scale meltdown, but major damage has already occurred and the plants likely won’t operate again, experts said.
The political impact of the crisis is also hitting home in the United States. The U.S. currently has 104 nuclear reactors operating, and analysts expect four to eight new reactors to be built.
Senator Joe Lieberman, who chairs the Senate’s homeland security panel, said on Sunday the United States should “put the brakes on” new nuclear power plants until the impact of the incident in Japan becomes clear.
What are your thoughts on the use of nuclear power? Give your answers below.
I think nuclear power is:
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How has the tsunami changed your view of nuclear power?
I am much less confident in its safety
I am a little less confident
I am a little more confident
I am much more confident
It's starting to look like the Summer of Love. Two reasons: The recovery is taking on a L-U-V shape globally, and it's going to require huge amounts of love and nurturing to keep growth alive.
L stands for Europe, where slowness to confront deep damage and write down the remaining $500 billion odd in bad bank debt, mean rebuilding will be protracted and painful.
The United States sports a U, bouncing along bottom right. But its financial giants swallowed harsh medicine early and the U.S. has the flexibility to stage an impressive rebound, if not undone by a fast-rising jobless rate at 9.5 percent and heavily indebted consumers.
V stands for Asia (ex Japan), the surprise region showing resiliency, thanks to its rapid Q4/Q1 inventory workdown and huge infrastructure spend by China.
Like the Summer of Love 41 years ago, it is a drug-fueled affair. G20 governments are peddling $820 billion in stimulus this year, equivalent to 2 percent of GDP. Central bankers are spending even more. The Fed has doubled its balance sheet to $2.04 trillion the past 12 months.