Critics say nuclear meltdown could happen here

Fukushima Nuclear Plant, Japan / FILE

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Dozens of nuclear power plants operate in the United States. Environmentalists say many of them use the same reactors that are melting down at a plant in Japan.

Michael Mariotte, executive director for the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, says one out of five nuclear power plants in the U.S. use the same reactors operating at the Japanese facility. Click here to see the locations of all active nuclear plants across the U.S. Tom Clements, with Friends of the Earth, says that plant was supposed to be able withstand earthquakes. He says Friday's quake and ensuing tsunami was too destructive and devastated the plant's cooling system. Clements explains such a scenario is possible in South Carolina. He says SCANA is building two reactors in Jenkinsville that are not earthquake proof. "It doesn't have its license yet, and well see if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is going to stop and reconsider."

Read more Find out how you can help relief efforts in Japan Japan quake-tsunami death toll likely over 10,000 Blast at Japan nuke plant after quake and tsunami

Clements criticized the Obama Administration for approving a total of $54.5 billion in loan guarantees for new reactors in the 2012 budget.

He says the United States should move away from nuclear power as a main source of energy. "We need to look for energy efficiency and conservation in a vigorous way, while at the same time pursuing more decentralized sources like solar and wind imported from the Midwest." WACH Fox News called SCANA for a comment. They say they will be holding press conference to address concerns Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. We will have a reporter there to bring you more.

Are you concerned about the threat of a nuclear meltdown in the Midlands? Vote in our poll and leave a comment below to weigh in and tell us your thoughts.