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Nuclear Energy in the United States

This week’s devastating news from Japan has brought nuclear power on the front pages and raises the question of the status of nuclear energy is in the United States. 

In the U.S. commercial nuclear power plants and other uses of nuclear materials, such as in nuclear medicine, through licensing, inspection and enforcement of its requirements are regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC was created as an independent agency by Congress in 1974 to enable the nation to safely use radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposes while ensuring that people and the environment are protected.

On its website the NRC not only allows access to information about any operating reactors, but as well the status of applications for new reactors, radioactive waste disposal sites and how the NRC ensures safeguards and security by regulating licensees' (a) accounting systems for special nuclear and source materials and (b) security programs and contingency plans.

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