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A flurry of rules seen harming A-plant's control

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in its Zeal to make atomic reactors nearly foolproof after the Three Mile Island accident, may have aggravated safety problems. Its staff report based on a survey of managers and reactor operators at 12 utilities found that proliferating, uncoordinated regulatory edicts may be having a "negative impact" on reactor safety.

One general complaint detected was that the commission has usurped the ability of utilities to manage their own resources and priorities through an overwhelming regulatory onslaught. No single requirement was viewed as unsafe or unreasonable, but there was a theme of dissatisfaction with the overall system.

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