Obama: U.S. not threatened by nuclear fallout in Japan
March 17th, 2011
05:54 PM ET

Obama: U.S. not threatened by nuclear fallout in Japan

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama said Thursday the United States was using all “available resources” to protect American citizens in Japan, and sought to reassure a weary American public that the nuclear crisis unfolding in Japan currently poses no threat to the United States.

“We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the United States, whether it’s the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, or U.S. territories in the Pacific,” Obama said in an afternoon statement in the White House Rose Garden. He repeated the line verbatim to stress his point.

Leading public health experts, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend U.S. citizens do anything more than stay informed the president said, but “we will continue to keep the American people fully updated – because I believe you must know what I know as president.”

Obama said the decision to evacuate American citizens beyond a 50 mile radius of the Fukushima Daiichi plant was “based on a careful scientific evaluation and the guidelines that we would use to keep our citizens safe here in the United States, or anywhere in the world.” Although there is currently no call for Americans to evacuate beyond the 50 mile radius, Obama said he has authorized the voluntary departures of dependents and family members of U.S. officials working in northeastern Japan.

Obama also said he had directed a comprehensive review of the safety of the nuclear plants in the United States in light of the events in Japan “to ensure the safety and security of our people.” The president did not retreat from his support of nuclear energy. “Nuclear power is also an important part of our own energy future, along with renewable sources like wind, solar, natural gas and clean coal,” he said.

Efforts to assist the Japanese people from flight missions to support recovery efforts, the distribution of thousands of pounds of food and water to the Japanese people, to sending some of the leading experts to help contain the damage at Japan’s nuclear reactors are ongoing Obama said. “We’re sharing with them the expertise, equipment, and technology so that the courageous responders on the scene have the benefit of American teamwork and support,” he said.

Obama said the U.S. will continue to do everything it can to assure the safety of its citizens in Japan, the security of it’s sources of energy, and would stand with the people of Japan. “I am confident that Japan will recover and rebuild because of the strength and spirit of the Japanese people,” Obama said.

Topics: Japan • President Obama • The News

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Kofi Jackson

    He doesn't seriously believe that any sane European gourmet would import wine from California when the nuclear cloud reaches the west coast?!

    March 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  2. joseph cecil smith

    the radiation WILL be here in the usa by 3/18 or 3/19, clearly plutonium is in the air from the MOX reactor, #4, that big blowout and many others at those plants clearly show massive radiation released into the pacific, high into the atmosphere also, some of that is in the upper strata and will be here soon.. The dust after 9-11 was toxic too, and building 7, what happened to that? i don't believe censored govt foolishness, is any major media being true to the ultimate liberties of the American People?

    March 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  3. vkmo

    Coal power, petroleum power, gas power, hydro-electric, nuclear power, even solar power - all have drawbacks. If you take the damage done by nuclear plants, the ecological and health damage by other power plants so far in 5 years ending in 2010- I don't think there's much difference.

    March 17, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  4. justin williams

    what japan needs to do is send in fire trucks and pump water into the cores to get water levels up and to get the temperature down that is about the only thing that will save them from the meltdown and with the temperature down they can get someone to work on it

    March 17, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  5. Notfooled

    The Republicans wanting to take away 434 million dollars from the Pacific tsunami warning center is crazier then us getting radiation from 5,000 miles away. More people could be killed that way then by radiation from this tragedy. Un -believeable.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:20 am |
  6. Dawn

    Does California need to abandon the grape crops for 2011? Who if not the FDA is testing the ppb of elemental levels in grapes, 2011? If deemed discardable, what can be done with grape crops 2011. Can it be stocked for future use. Image grapes infused with plutonium particles. What are the danger levels and to what extent do molecular, edible products absorbing capacity. Brings to mind several thoughts – solar radiation interaction with said plutonium clouds. I have only a B.A. in space. Not a b.a. in molecular physics.

    January 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm |