Obama requests nuclear review, sees risk in Japan

President Barack Obama said on Thursday he had requested a comprehensive review of U.S. nuclear facilities, maintaining his support for atomic energy while seeking to apply lessons from the crisis in Japan.

Obama expressed confidence that Japan would recover from the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear emergency that have seemed to overwhelm its government, but said radiation from a stricken plant there posed a "substantial risk" to people nearby.

He pledged to support Japan while Washington also seeks to aid and evacuate Americans from the country.

"In the coming days, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety of American citizens and the security of our sources of energy," he told reporters at the White House. "And we will stand with the people of Japan as they contain this crisis, recover from this hardship, and rebuild their great nation."

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko said the United States was working to provide ideas and possibly equipment to help Japan cool its overheating Daiichi nuclear power plant about 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

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