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Federal regulators cited Exelon Generation Co. Monday for a "security-related vulnerability" in the on-site storage of old radioactive fuel at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant 45 miles north of Baltimore.

Federal regulators cited Exelon Generation Co. Monday for a "security-related vulnerability" in the on-site storage of old radioactive fuel at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant 45 miles north of Baltimore.

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave no details about the violation, other than to say it was detected during a July 2 inspection of the twin-reactor facility in Delta, Pa., and that it warranted "escalated enforcement action." An NRC spokesman explained that the agency withholds details of security matters to prevent terrorism.

The commission's acting regional administrator, David C. Lew, said in a letter to Exelon officials that company personnel took unspecified "immediate compensatory actions" to address the problem.

Lacey Dean, an Exelon spokeswoman, said that the NRC "identified a temporary security-related equipment issue" affecting spent nuclear fuel stored in concrete and steel casks at the plant. She likewise declined to provide details, but said that "the potential concern was resolved promptly and at no time was the facility or its used fuel installation at risk."

The company could have been fined $140,000 or more, according to an agency spokesman. But officials chose not to impose a civil penalty, the regional administrator's letter explained, because the plant hasn't had any escalated enforcement actions in the past two years, and because the agency wants to encourage prompt correction of violations.

Peach Bottom was last subject to escalated enforcement in 2009, when the NRC proposed a $65,000 fine after finding "inattentive" security officers at the plant. In that case, the NRC disclosed that Exelon had fired its security contractor after the problem was discovered and formed its own security force.

While escaping a fine, Peach Bottom may still be subject to increased inspections as a result of its spent fuel security lapse, the NRC letter said.

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