ABC News Update

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5:07 | 12/22/11

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Transcript for ABC News Update
President Obama today said a small faction of house Republicans are the only one standing in the way of a deal to extend expiring payroll tax cuts. Speaking at the White House the president and lawmakers must put aside politics. This is an issue where. An overwhelming. Number of people in both parties are great. How can we not get that not. -- is -- there's this place becomes so dysfunctional that. Even -- people agree to things we can do it. President Obama told house speaker John Boehner this morning the only option for preventing tax cuts from expiring at the end of the year. Is for the house to pass a two month extension the senate approved that plan last week the house has refused saying it property full one year extension. 160 million Americans would be affected -- a deal is not reached. Pretty hard to believe but it's -- thirty years three decade since any new nuclear power plants have been built in the United States. That may be about to change today the Nuclear Regulatory Commission the NRC. Approved the design of a new reactor it is called the eight 1000. And was designed by Westinghouse electric company. The NRC says the design would be safer than anything built the -- -- and could even withstand damage of a plane crashed into. Joining us now -- -- today's decision and what it means. As Westinghouse CEO -- -- risk. Mr. can't just -- you so much for joining us from Pittsburgh. Thank you -- -- -- put this in perspective. Does this certification. From the NRC mean this -- out. Absolutely does yes as a matter of fact that after this announcement they'll be another one coming within the next month. About this so called combined operating licenses which will actually allow construction. Nuclear construction be precise. To proceed at -- sites in the south one in the -- -- -- -- and the other one in Georgia. And that I don't need to tell you will entail a significant increase in jobs in the area and and jobs overall for the industry. OK we're gonna talk about that in a little in a little bit but first are there any other hurdles regulatory or otherwise that need to be over com. Before ground is broken on these reactors. None other on the wanted to mention about the combined operating licenses for the utility. Okay now -- -- said it's been more than thirty years since there been any new reactors built in the US. Eap 1000 and how it's different from those from decades past. Well. The reactors in the past have. Relied significantly on the availability of AC power after they shut down do -- -- an accident type of situation. When we started to what I designed the 1000 which was about twenty years ago actually. We decided that we need to have a design that relies exclusively on natural forces things like gravity convection in the light. So post accident -- 81000 does not require BP in the AC power. And and just make -- simpler. You obviously everybody in the audience who has thought about the Fukushima accident that follow the tsunami in Japan isn't enough. Eight in March or early this year had an AP 1000 be on that site who -- -- known nuclear news post -- -- Well let's talk about that a little bit more at the Fukushima power plant as everyone knows became a major crisis. Within Japan that continues. Even now all of these months later it's -- In some ways may have turned people lost two nuclear power what you say to those people. Federer still I'm sure that nuclear power can be completely safe. Well obviously there are all lessons learned from Fukushima and an end in spite of the fact that nuclear has been -- -- -- fifty years. It is still -- learning industry authority early in the in the it's so overall development if you look at historical development of industries in in the past. So. The there's no question that. Spoke -- she my -- significant impact on public opinion. Even though I can tell you the -- in the US and other parts of the world as well that is turning around in of course with the design like the if you 1000 coming in. We have thought new options in the industry going forward. So a lot of what you're saying and makes -- 1000 safer than other reactors is really the power source how it gets power. Saying much the same basic concept of -- of far -- uranium but. Obviously via. The big difference is how that's being done enough in the system and -- -- said before the fact that -- -- -- You end up with a much safer are designed. -- -- had in the past not the designs of their they are now. Are not safe by the way but you basically taken to another level. Are right -- -- cantor is a CEO of Westinghouse thanks so much for your time sir. Thank you --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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