Thursday, March 17, 2011

McCaskill on nuclear power and ethics complaint

In the wake of the nuclear reactor crisis in Japan, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says the United States should re-evaluate the risk of nuclear energy and make smart decisions going forward.

Workers in Japan are trying to prevent a nuclear meltdown by cooling overheating reactors damaged by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami.

McCaskill says Ameren Missouri’s Callaway Nuclear Plant is safer because it’s a "pressurized water reactor", not a "boiling water reactor" like the one in Japan.

"Ours is much safer because of that. And it has been built to withstand earthquakes. I think we are in a much better position in Missouri in terms of the nuclear facility that we have in light of what has gone on in Japan. But, nonetheless, we are going to be paying attention to the aftermath of this," McCaskill says.

McCaskill points out that every source of energy has risks saying that the U.S.’s dependence on the Middle East for oil puts the country’s national security at risk.

The Senator also says she is embarrassed by the recent revelation that she was reimbursed for using a private airplane to attend a political event in 2007.

The Democrat’s comments come a day after the Missouri Republican Party filed an ethics complaint against her.

Last week, McCaskill repaid the U.S. Treasury $88,000 for 89 airplane trips she organized through a company in which she and her husband have an ownership stake. The trips were allowed by Senate rules, but McCaskill said she wanted to avoid the appearance of a conflict.
McCaskill says the complaint filed by Republicans is more about politics than ethics.

"Missouri Republican Party is going to try to ride this horse for as long as they can. They’re gonna try to make this as big a deal as they can. Them filing an ethics complaint is about as surprising as the sun coming up," McCaskill said.

McCaskill says she’s glad that such details about domestic travel are public record so members of Congress are held accountable. She says she is pushing for the same kind of transparency in foreign travel.

Julie Bierach, St. Louis Public Radio


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