Lieberman: Stop new nuclear plants in US

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said the United States should issue a moratorium on any new nuclear power projects in light of the current crises facing Japan.

“I’ve been a big supporter of nuclear power because it’s domestic, it’s ours and it’s clean,” Lieberman said in an interview with “Face the Nation.”

“We’ve had a good safety record with nuclear power plants here in the United States ... I don’t want to stop the building of nuclear power plants, but I think we’ve got to kind of quietly, quickly put the brakes on until we can absorb what has happened in Japan.”

Lieberman noted that only a portion of American nuclear power plants are built “according to designs” that would allow them to withstand major disasters.

“It’s time I think for states to look at their building codes and see whether they want to take preventive action,” he said. “A lot of the old buildings have not been retrofitted.”

Marvin Fertel, president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, disagreed during an appearance on “Meet the Press.”

“All of our power plants are designed to sustain maximum earthquake [damage],” he said.