LOS ANGELES, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Following the nuclear disaster in Japan after the tsunami in March 2011, the United States and other countries have reviewed their nuclear energy policies and more strict and safer measures have been taken, but it is unlikely nuclear energy will be stopped.
Andrew C. Klein, professor of nuclear engineering and radiation health physics at Oregon State University, told Xinhua in an interview this week that the lesson the world has learned is to make nuclear energy safer but not to avoid it.
"A number of countries like Germany and Austria have decided not to continue their nuclear programs. The Japanese have talked about not to continue but they will continue anyway because they have very few options for large scale electricity generations and the U.S. will continue to build a couple of new reactors in Southeast," said the nuclear expert.
Klein's research interests include nuclear energy policy, space nuclear systems design, transient analysis of nuclear power systems, radiation shielding, nuclear nonproliferation, safeguards and security, and fusion energy systems design.
He admitted that the nuclear disaster in Japan has slowed down some of the nuclear expansions that have been talked about.
"The U.S. has slowed down a little bit, some have stopped, but others are continuing. It is different country by country," he said.
"The kinds of lessons we have learned of the disaster in Japan are related to the operations of the systems and the availability of the electricity to provide the power. I know the utilities in the U.S. are working hard to address this issue. But it is important to remember that if there had been a 45-meter sea wall, this would not have happened," said the expert.
"But remember the 20,000 people died of the tsunami and earthquake, not the nuclear disaster," Klein added.