POSTED: Monday, March 14, 2011 - 5:09am
UPDATED: Monday, March 14, 2011 - 2:08pm
WASHINGTON D.C. - As America nervously watches Japan pump seawater to cool its nuclear reactors, questions are surfacing about whether our own nuclear plants are safe in the event of a massive earthquake.
The Obama administration wants to build more nuclear plants in the U.S., but Japan's atomic emergency has some here on capitol hill concerned, like Connecticut's Joe Lieberman.
"Put the brakes on right now," said the senator. "We need to understand the ramifications of what's happened in Japan."
There are 104 nuclear plants in the U.S. -- about a quarter of them designed like those now under a state of emergency in Japan.
The nuclear regulatory commission insists each American plant is built to withstand the most severe shock.
At least four more are on the drawing board now. President Obama is asking for 36 billion next year to build even more.
But in light of the explosions in Japan, some on capitol hill, like Republican Ed Markey of Massachusetts, want to take it slow.
"We have to listen to what is happening in Japan and protect ourselves and our people."