The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Thursday that it has ordered a venting upgrade for nearly a third of the reactors in the country, including ones at the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station just north of Harford County.
Peach Bottom, in Delta, Pa., has two of the 31 reactors that must now have venting systems that can better handle accidents. The commission's order is part of its review effort following the 2011 nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, after an earthquake and tsunami.
Scott Burnell, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said officials want venting systems in place that can operate "under a wider set of conditions and keep doing the job they're designed for" — releasing pressure and hydrogen so containment buildings can hold on to radioactive material.
The Peach Bottom plant is co-owned by Exelon Corp. and Public Service Electric and Gas Co. in New Jersey. Exelon spokeswoman Lacey Dean said Thursday that the company had already planned improvements to its steam venting and is "well prepared to meet all requirements."
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