U.S. nuclear power regulators are requiring fewer exercises for major accidents and recommending that fewer people be evacuated right away.


The changes come in the first overhaul of the community readiness program since its creation after Three Mile Island in 1979.

Communities will no longer have to run all exercises assuming a radioactive release.

A new exercise is being added, though. Local and state police will now practice for an attack on nearby nuclear plants.



These changes went into effect in December. While documented in obscure federal publications, the revamped rules received hardly any notice by the general public.

New Jersey is home to the nation's oldest nucelar plant, the Oyster Creek plant in Forked River.

Some attack plans bolstered, others eased at nukes

The U.S. government has adopted the first set of comprehensive
changes in the emergency planning program for communities near
nuclear power plants since its creation after the Three Mile Island
accident in 1979.
The changes call for:
-- Limited community participation in planning for attacks on
nuclear plants.
-- Less frequent community exercises in 50-mile emergency zones --
every eight years instead of every six.
-- Periodic community exercises with scenarios assuming little or
no release of radiation.
-- Delayed evacuations for more people in the immediate vicinity
of an accident.

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