Washington: US President Barack Obama has ordered a thorough review of safety at nuclear plants in the country in response to the emergency unfolding at the Fukushima power plant in Japan.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday after returning from a surprise visit to the Japanese embassy, Obama said medical and nuclear experts have assured him that the situation in Fukushima poses no direct threat to the US.
"So I want to be very clear - we do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the US, whether it's the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, or US territories in the Pacific," Obama said.
While US nuclear plants have been declared safe for any number of "extreme contingencies", the president said officials have to learn from the Japan crisis.
"That's why I've asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to do a comprehensive review of the safety of our domestic nuclear plants in light of the natural disaster that unfolded in Japan," Obama said.
Obama said the US was doing all it could to support its "Japanese ally at this time of extraordinary challenge" and expressed confidence that the country "will recover and rebuild" after the magnitude-9 earthquake, which left over 5,000 dead.