Nuclear reactors planned for the U.S. are safer and more efficient than the 40-year-old Japan facility that has suffered explosions and leaks, experts say. Still, their approval is likely to be delayed.
The biggest takeaway from the nuclear crisis unfolding in Japan will not concern the future technology of nuclear facilities, says University of Wisconsin engineering professor Robert Corradini and member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (N.R.C.). “‘You’re going to see refortification of plants for the tsunami. I expect that the N.R.C. is going to slow down the process and do a re-analysis to make sure that nothing has been unturned in terms of lessons learned.’ Corradini says the ‘Generation III-plus’ plants proposed by Westinghouse, General Electric, Mitsubishi and the French firm Areva incorporate new designs that take in the lessons of past nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.”