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Nuke plants in the United States are safer than ever

10:52 AM, Mar 10, 2013   |    comments
RICHLAND, WA - JUNE 30: One of the double-shell tank farms containing six underground tanks is seen on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation June 30, 2005 near Richland, Washington. The Hanford site has 177 underground tanks total, 28 double-shell and 149 single-shell, holding 53 million gallons of highly radioactive and hazardous waste produced through the 40 years of plutonium production. 67 of the single-shell tanks have assumed to have leaked into the groundwater, creating a cleanup effort to pump
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(AP) - Two years after Japan's nuclear crisis, the top U.S. regulator says American nuclear power plants are safer than ever, but not trouble-free.           

Alison Macfarlane chairs the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She says performance of U.S. plants is "quite good." Macfarlane says all but five of the nation's 104 reactors were performing at acceptable safety levels at the end of last year.           

But a watchdog group calls her assessment overly rosy. The Union of Concerned Scientists says in a report that nearly one in six U.S. reactors had safety breaches last year, due in part to weak oversight.           

Federal officials say none of the incidents hurt workers or the public.           

Monday marks the two-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that crippled Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi (foo-koo-SHEE'-mah dy-EE'-chee) nuclear plant.

Associated Press

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