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Conflicting Reports On Safety Of Nuclear Reactors

Some refute an AP report that states the NRC identified 27 nuclear reactors -- including Exelon Nuclear's Limerick Generating Station -- in the U.S. that might need upgrades to better withstand earthquakes.

Exelon Nuclear's Limerick Generating Station is among many plants across the country that could require an overhaul to make it safe in an earthquake, the Associated Press recently reported.  

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission believes 25 percent of the country's nuclear reactors may need modifications to make them safer, the AP stated.

According to the AP report, the NRC identified 27 nuclear reactors across the country that might need upgrades to better withstand earthquakes. Included on the list are two reactors at Exelon Nuclear's Limerick Generating Station, and two reactors at the company’s Peach Bottom, York County, plant. 

According to another AP report, “The risk that an earthquake would cause a severe accident at a U.S. nuclear plant is greater than previously thought, 24 times as high in one case, according to an AP analysis of preliminary government data.” 

Scores of news publications across the country -- including MSNBC -- picked up the AP reports on the issue.

But the Morris Daily Herald reports a different angle.

The AP report is flawed, NRC spokesman Viktoria Mytling of Region 3 at Lisle said, according to the Morris Daily Herald.

“AP’s data is not our data and should not be interpreted as such. This is not accurate,” (Mytling) said. “They took certain data from NRC documents and turned it into a table that poses a nuclear threat to power plants. This is not what the NRC data means, and is not how the agency uses it."

In other nuke news: 

The NRC will host a license renewal overview and environmental scoping public meeting for the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Sunnybrook Ballroom, 50 North Sunnybrook Road in Pottstown. Scoping comments will be accepted until Oct. 28, according to the Montgomery County Planning Commission Facebook page.

Exelon’s website states Limerick Unit 1’s original license continues through Oct. 26, 2024 and Unit 2’s license continues through June 22, 2029.

“We applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a 20-year renewal of our original operating license,” the site states. “We are committed to running Limerick cleanly, safely and reliably well into the future.”

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