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Earthquake Risk At Montco Nuclear Plant Gets New Scrutiny

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(The Limerick nuclear power plant.  Photo provided by Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

(The Limerick nuclear power plant. Photo provided by Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

LIMERICK, Pa. (CBS) – Government regulators in the United States will be taking a closer look at a nuclear power plant in Limerick Township, to see if it’s at risk from seismic activity.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission had planned to take a look at plant safety even before Friday’s earthquake and tsunami that damaged nuclear facilities in Japan.

NRC spokeswoman Diane Screnci calls it coincidental, and says the seismic issue has been around for quite some time.  She says the NRC staff has been looking at it since the mid-2000s.

“We’ve reviewed updates to seismic models and determined that the likelihood of exceeding a seismic hazard may be higher than what was previously thought,” Screnci told KYW Newsradio today.

She says they are doing an assessment of about a quarter of the 104 plants that are now operating in the US, to determine whether they need to do anything further and whether any plant improvements to reduce seismic risk are warranted.

Screnci emphasized that these plants are built to withstand many natural phenomena, including earthquakes.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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