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Nuclear industry pushing for fewer inspections at plants

FILE - In this March 16, 2011, file photo, steam escapes from Exelon Corp.'s nuclear plant in Byron, Ill. The nuclear power industry is pushing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to cut back on inspections at nuclear power plants and throttle back what it tells the public about plant problems. (AP Photo/Robert Ray, File)

WASHINGTON — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering requests from the nuclear power industry for fewer inspections at its plants.

NRC staffers currently are conducting a sweeping review of how the agency carries out its oversight of the country’s 98 commercially operating nuclear plants.

The industry is asking the commission to ease inspections for radiation protection and emergency preparedness at plants. The industry also wants the commission to throttle back on what it tells the public about non-emergency problems at nuclear plants.

Trump administration appointees to the NRC panel say they are open to some of the requested changes. The NRC review is expected to be finished in June.

Outside watchdog groups and some NRC officials have questioned the industry’s push to do more self-inspections and reporting.

Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press

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