March 15, 2011 / 5:45 PM / 9 years ago

Japan crisis should not delay new U.S. reactors: Chu

Energy Secretary Steven Chu speaks to reporters during the 2009 Reuters Washington Summit in Washington, October 20, 2009. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal regulators should not delay approving construction licenses for planned U.S. nuclear power plants because of Japan’s nuclear crisis, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Tuesday.

“I think those things can proceed,” Chu told reporters on Capitol Hill, referring to construction license applications pending at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The NRC may decide in the fourth quarter whether to issue such licenses to Southern Co and SCANA Corp to build two reactors each.

Chu said the agency had a lengthy and thorough process to review applications for new reactors. “I think we’re in good hands,” he said.

Editing by Dale Hudson

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