UPDATE: President seeks safety review of US nuclear plants - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: President seeks safety review of US nuclear plants

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is calling for a comprehensive safety review at the 104 nuclear reactors in the U.S. in the wake of the Japanese disaster.

The president is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to examine nuclear plants to ensure they can withstand earthquakes and other disasters. Obama said lessons can be learned from the unfolding nuclear disaster caused by last week's earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

In televised remarks Thursday, The president said U.S. officials do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the West Coast of the continental U.S., Hawaii or Alaska. He repeated the statement for emphasis.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says Americans are heartbroken over the disaster in Japan and are confident the country will rebuild.

Obama wrote that message in a condolence book at the Japanese embassy in Washington on Thursday.

He also planned to make a statement at the White House later Thursday on Japan's nuclear crisis.

Obama spoke Wednesday night with the prime minister about steps the U.S. is taking to keep Americans there safe -- steps that exceed what Japan is telling its own people.

The U.S. wants Americans within 50 miles of the plant to evacuate, while Japan's government set a 12-mile radius.

Emergency workers have been dousing the overheated Fukushima Dai-chi (foo-koo-SHEE'-mah dy-EE'-chee) nuclear complex with water to cool nuclear fuel rods that are threatening to spew out more radiation.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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