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New Safety Improvements Ordered For Nuclear Power Plants

The Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRC) is ordering new safety improvements to boiling water nuclear power plants across the country like the Oyster Creek nuclear generating station in Lacey Township.

Oyster Creek

The NRC is directing the owners of the Mark 1 & 2 reactors to further improve the safety venting of containment buildings so they can better handle the pressures, temperatures, hydrogen concentrations and radiation levels in the event of reactor damage.

NRC officials say the enhancements also ensure plant personnel can operate the vents safely if the reactor core is damaged.

According to a press release, “The order covers venting scenarios for both “wetwells,” structures meant to condense accident-generated steam and control pressure, and the larger “drywell” structures that surround the reactor.”

Depending on a plant’s outage schedule, plants have until June 2014 to complete the wetwell venting improvements. They also have to analyze their drywell venting scenarios and install a drywell venting option by June of 2017

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