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Senate confirms 2 Democratic nominees with hint of bipartisanship

The Senate today confirmed President Obama's nominees to serve on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in a fast-paced vote that drew the support -- and deep skepticism -- of some top Republicans.

Sixty members of the upper chamber, including five Republicans, voted to confirm former NRC general counsel Stephen Burns, a Democrat, to serve a full five-year term at the agency. Republican backers were Sens. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Dean Heller of Nevada, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.


NRC approves first new reactor design in 3 years following DOJ probe

Federal regulators today approved the first new nuclear reactor design in three years -- slated for use in Virginia and Michigan -- following a yearslong review in which the developer was fined for allegedly concealing safety information.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission found GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy's Economic Simplified Boiling-Water Reactor (ESBWR) meets the agency's safety standards.


U.S. reactors can handle climate change under current rules -- NRC chief

Existing rules and regulations are flexible enough to protect the country's 100 nuclear plants against the effects of climate change, the country's top nuclear regulator said last week.

NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane told reporters she sees no need for a wholesale review of operating parameters for nuclear plants as water temperatures increase and more severe storms surface, arguing that such regional trends are considered in the licensing process.


Chairwoman backs agency decision on Calif. seismic debate

The head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission today backed the agency's rejection of internal calls to shutter California's sole nuclear plant over seismic concerns.

NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane told reporters at a round table sponsored by IHS Energy Daily that the commission believes Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s two-unit Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in San Luis Obispo County on the Pacific Coast is safe, and that the agency would shutter the reactors if agency officials thought otherwise.


Calif. plant at ground zero in quake controversy is 'safe' -- NRC chief

The head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission insists California's sole nuclear plant is operating safely despite a top expert's report calling for the facility's closure over seismic concerns.

NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane said during an interview last week that she has a "line" into Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s two-unit Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in San Luis Obispo County on the Pacific Coast near several earthquake faults and is confident the facility is safe. The plant is located within 50 miles of 500,000 people.

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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


Japanese Response

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U.S. Reactors

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