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SECURITY:

Nuclear industry's bid to limit cyber rules opens debate over defensive strategies

The U.S. nuclear energy industry is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to narrow the cybersecurity regulations governing reactors, limiting the rules' reach to equipment and systems that are directly involved in protecting reactor cores and spent fuel pools. Cyberattack defenses for off-site communications and emergency preparedness functions would no longer be mandated.

Anthony Pietrangelo, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, requested the change in a petition to the NRC last year. The NEI contends that existing NRC cybersecurity regulations require plant operators to create cyberattack defenses for hundreds to thousands of digital equipment pieces and systems that play no role in preventing "radiological sabotage" -- attacks that threaten reactor cores or spent fuel pools.

NUCLEAR:

Legal tussles over Indian Point enter 'crucial year,' but final permit rulings unlikely

NEW YORK -- The 2,000-megawatt Indian Point Energy Center in the Hudson River Valley just north of the Big Apple is headed for more overlapping legal maneuvers in the year ahead, with daylight possible but by no means a certainty.

The nuclear plant, owned and operated by Entergy Corp., is facing permit renewals for its two active reactors along with litigation related to state and federal approval of those permits -- not to mention pressure from environmentalists and others within the state who want to see it closed for good.

NUCLEAR:

Ill. agencies lay out menu of options to support Exelon nukes

Illinois agencies outlined a range of policy solutions in a report issued yesterday aimed at helping prop up three Exelon Corp. nuclear plants that the company said have struggled to remain profitable in recent years.

The report was produced by four state agencies at the request of the General Assembly. The Legislature requested the reports last spring amid lobbying by the Chicago-based power producer.

NRC:

Obama picks former general counsel to lead agency as controversy thickens

President Obama has tapped Commissioner Stephen Burns to be chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission starting Jan. 1, 2015, the agency said yesterday.

Burns, a 33-year veteran of the agency, was sworn in as a commissioner last month. He will lead the agency amid a brewing storm over issues including the fate of the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev.; new safety regulations after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan; and a nomination for the open fifth chair on the commission. The contention is likely to intensify as Republicans take control of both chambers of Congress next session.

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The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan has spawned a major nuclear disaster. E&E examines the implications for energy, the environment, security and public health.

Nuclear Nation

Scores of nuclear power reactors dot the United States. There are 103 reactors that are licensed to operate and 14 undergoing decommissioning. Many others are in planning stages; the four furthest along in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing process are shown on this map. Click on a site icon for more details on the U.S. NRC website.

Zion 1, Illinois Zion 2, Illinois Humboldt Bay, California Vallecitos Boiling Water Reactor, California San Onofre 1, California LaCrosse Boiling Water Reactor, Wisconsin Dresden 1, Illinois Peach Bottom 1, Pennsylvania Three Mile Island 2, Pennsylvania Nuclear Ship Savannah, Maryland Fermi 1, Michigan Indian Point 1, New York Millstone 1, Connecticut Summer 3, South Carolina Summer 2, South Carolina Vogtle 4, Georgia Vogtle 3, Georgia McGuire 2, North Carolina McGuire 1, North Carolina North Anna 2, Virginia North Anna 1, Virginia Surry 2, Virginia Surry 1, Virginia Brunswick 2, North Carolina Brunswick 1, North Carolina Catawba 2, South Carolina Catawba 1, South Carolina Vogtle 2, Georgia Vogtle 1, Georgia Hatch 2, Georgia Hatch 1, Georgia Saint Lucie 2, Florida Harris 1, North Carolina Watts Bar 1, Tennessee Fort Calhoun, Nebraska Cooper, Nebraska Pilgrim 1, Massachusetts Seabrook 1, New Hampshire Vermont Yankee, Vermont FitzPatrick, New York Ginna, New York Perry 1, Ohio Davis-Besse, Ohio Monticello, Minnesota Duane Arnold, Iowa Fermi 2, Ohio Palisades, Michigan Kewaunee, Wisconsin Clinton, Illinois Callaway, Missouri Columbia Generating Station, Washington Wolf Creek, Kansas River Bend 1, Louisiana Waterford 3, Louisiana Robinson 2, South Carolina Summer, South Carolina Grand Gulf 1, Mississippi Crystal River 3, Florida Saint Lucie 1, Florida Oconee 2, South Carolina Oconee 3, South Carolina Oconee 1, South Carolina Palo Verde 2, Arizona Palo Verde 3, Arizona Palo Verde 1, Arizona Browns Ferry 2, Alabama Browns Ferry 3, Alabama Browns Ferry 1, Alabama Sequoyah 2, Tennessee Sequoyah 1, Tennessee Quad Cities 2, Illinois Quad Cities 1, Illinois Peach Bottom 3, Pennsylvania Three Mile Island 1, Pennsylvania Peach Bottom 2, Pennysylvania Nine Mile Point 2, New York Nine Mile Point 1, New York Calvert Cliffs 2, Maryland Calvert Cliffs 1, Maryland Salem 2, New Jersey Hope Creek 1, New Jersey Oyster Creek, New Jersey Salem 1, New Jersey Millstone 3, Connecticut Millstone 2, Connecticut Indian Point 3, New York Indian Point 2, New York Susquehanna 1, Pennsylvania Susquehanna 1, Pennsylvania Limerick 2, Pennsylvania Limerick 1, Pennsylvania Beaver Valley 2, Pennsylvania Beaver Valley 1, Pennsylvania Dresden 3, Illinois Dresden 2, Illinois La Salle 2, Illinois La Salle 1, Illinois Braidwood 2, Illinois Braidwood 1, Illinois D.C. Cook 2, Michigan D.C. Cook 1, Michigan Byron 2, Illinois Byron 1, Illinois Point Beach 2, Wisconsin Point Beach 1, Wisconsin Prarie Island 2, Minnesota Prarie Island 1, Minnesota Arkansas Nuclear 2, Arkansas Arkansas Nuclear 1, Arkansas South Texas 2, Texas South Texas 1, Texas Comanche Peak 2, Texas Comanche Peak 1, Texas Diablo Canyon 2, California Diablo Canyon 1, California San Onofre 3, California San Onofre 2, California Farley 2, Alabam51 Farley 1, Alabama Turkey Point 4, Florida Turkey Point 3, Florida

Proposed and expected to proceed to final NRC licensing

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