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NRC: 2 years after Japan, US nuke plants safer

WASHINGTON (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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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